The specter of “fake news” looms over many facets of modern society. Waves of online misinformation have rocked societal events from the Covid-19 pandemic to U.S. elections. But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Devavrat Shah, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Institute for Data, Systems and Society. Shah researches the recommendation algorithms that generate social media newsfeeds. He has proposed a new approach that could limit the spread of misinformation by emphasizing content generated by a user’s own contacts, rather than whatever happens to be trending globally. As Congress and a new presidential administration mull whether and how to regulate social media, Shah shared his thoughts with MIT News.
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Professor Devavrat Shah