The conflicting messages are everywhere – from the efficacy of vaccines, to the accuracy of election results, to the threat of climate change. Scrolling through your social media feed or listening to a family member express a belief you think is outrageous, you may have wondered how people can “fall for that.” Or maybe you’re just overwhelmed and confused.
The implications of disinformation on our planet, our democracy, and our collective health are huge. To help combat this problem, an anonymous donor has given a sizable gift to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He hopes his donation inspires others to give to this important topic and advances the university’s effort to teach people how to recognize and resist what he calls nefarious propaganda and psychological manipulation.
The gift will fund research and the creation of instructional innovations by Jonathon Reinhardt, professor in the Department of English, and Diana Daly, assistant professor in the School of Information, on topics ranging from the grammar underpinning disinformation to the social relationships that make combating disinformation so challenging.