Kris Shaffer, Ph.D. (Yale University, 2011), is an Instructional Technology Specialist and Adjunct Instructor of Computer Science and Digital Studies at the University of Mary Washington. He is also a Contributing Editor for Hybrid Pedagogy and the lead author and editor of Open Music Theory.
Kris is a data scientist with a background in computational musicology, a digital media specialist, a software developer, and a published author. Recently, he has been developing open-source software and analytics tools for education, particularly in the context of critical digital pedagogy, open educational resources (OER), and UMW's Domain of One's Own initiative.
Misinformation abounds. This has always been the case, but the problem has become acute in the age of digital communication. As Mike Caulfield and Zeynep Tufekci have been showing in the week following the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook is particularly susceptible to this problem. Of course, Facebook is not alone. The ease with which we can share “news” on social media platforms makes it increasingly easy to contribute to the virality of falsehoods. Take this video, which reached viral status on Twitter. Those who passed it along claimed it was a video of anti-Trump protests in Los Angeles, but is really a video of an anti-Maduro protest in Venezuela.
But this problem is bigger than the proliferation of misinformation in today’s media landscape.