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Fake News, Foreign Interference, Trolls, Oh My! Sorting Out Disinformation Online

fake news online
Flickr/Christoph Scholz; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Sorting out fake news, trolls, and foreign interference – all working to misinform you. How do we fix this and who gets to be the gatekeeper of online information? We look for answers.

Every second of every day, we are being bombarded with disinformation online. From the election to COVID-19 and everything in between, trolls and other bad actors – foreign and domestic – are crafting a narrative to serve their purposes, not ours.

And the number of sites that serve up hyperpartisan or blatant misinformation have exploded in the lead-up to this election.

Some social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have vowed to prevent this on their platforms, but that brings up questions of who gets to be the gatekeeper of information and the ultimate arbiter of truth.

Much of that falls on us and we get some tips on sorting through the muck along with a discussion of the role of Big Tech in all this.


Philip Napoli, Ph.D. James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy and faculty affiliate with the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy at Duke University. Author of "Social Media and Public Interest: Media Regulation in the Disinformation Age."

Darren Linvill, Ph.D. associate professor of communications, researcher with the Media Forensics Hub at Clemson University. His research explores state-sponsored social media disinformation and its influence on civil discourse. He’s considered an international expert in identifying and exposing social media disinformation campaigns.

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.