Reboot in the News

A selection of news coverage, Reboot op-eds and mentions of our work from around the web.

Elisabeth H. Daugherty in Princeton Alumni Weekly

When Helen Lee Bouygues ’95’s daughter needed to research King Francis for a school project, the 7-year-old didn’t turn to either of the two books about him sitting right in her room. 

She asked to borrow a computer and went straight to Wikipedia.

“That got me thinking about how children gather information,” says Bouygues. “For her, it was about expediency and being faster, but that has implications around how children learn.”

Since the internet’s advent, conspiracy theories have acquired followings online. Now, in the era of social media, people use platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spread disinformation and misinformation. Instagram, the Facebook-owned image platform where influencers tout luxury, beauty and consumer culture, has also become an online home for conspiracies. And lately, one has been particularly prolific: QAnon.

Social media has become the information highway for so many people, but not everything is paved with the truth.

A new study found some age groups are more inclined to believe and share misinformation.

The posts pop up on social media news feeds constantly. Claims that you, “Need to affix two stamps to your absentee ballot to make sure it gets delivered;” “Lawmakers are trying to sneak in a bill that would raise taxes on guns and ammo;” “FEMA has authorized a $2800.00 check for hazard pay!”

Two new studies tap into the growing interest in generational differences when it comes to misinformation savvy. The big takeaway? While it’s easy to blame others for spreading so-called fake news, young and old alike struggle to navigate today’s tangled information landscape.

A report from the Reboot Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes critical thinking, examines the online behaviors of 150 respondents across two age groups: those 60 and older, and younger adults ages 18 to 30. The study paints a nuanced picture of how age might impact a person’s ability to shun clickbait, recognize legitimate news headlines and assess the credibility of websites.

Editorial Board in the Star Tribune

Deploying disinformation as well as other asymmetric tactics, Russia attacked America’s 2016 election. “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” according to a 2017 report from the director of national intelligence.

Helen Lee Bouygues in RealClearPolicy

Nobody likes to think they’re an easy mark for fake news. People don’t want to believe that they can be duped. But it turns out that Americans are far too confident about their Internet skills. 

New research from our team suggests only 1 percent of Americans know how to truly identify a fake news website, and many don’t often take the extra steps to ensure the information they are reading and sharing is credible.