Combating the Infodemic

Combating the Disinfodemic

We're spending the year investigating the sources and effects of disinformation, and exploring what we can do to fight back.
Published: December 7, 2022 | Updated: January 27th, 2023 at 1:16 pm
Disruption Disinformation

The advertisement from an SYR.edu email address that promises students a high-paying job for almost no work – if they click the link. Anti-abortion activists telling women – falsely – that abortion is more dangerous than giving birth. Russian trolls exploiting racial tensions in the U.S. and creating divisions that derail important social movements. The endless bogus solicitations to purchase an extended warranty.

Fake news. Scams. Propaganda. The information age has quickly devolved into the disinformation age. The effects aren’t pretty, altering our sense of whom to trust and pushing our faith in each other, and the government, to new lows.

This project takes stock of how these attacks on the truth have changed our lives, examining the history and sources of disinformation and scams, the people most affected by them, and most importantly, what we can do to fight back.

To this end, we’ve rallied dozens of student reporters at the Newhouse School of Syracuse University to explore the topic from as many angles as possible. The NewsHouse and partner organizations such as WAER and The Stand South Side Newspaper will publish these stories throughout the year and bring them together into a single package this spring.

We’ll also host community forms and launch a survey to gauge how disinformation affects us locally. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you have a story relating to scams or disinformation, let us know. We would love to cover it.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation’s Combating Disinformation in Communities of Color grant program and from the generous support of alumnus David Flaum and his wife, Jackie.

The Dr. William A. Harris Health Center on Slocum Avenue closed over the summer and is currently for sale.
Disrupting Disinformation

A Syracuse clinic for women closes. Now what?

Published: October 19, 2022

An information vacuum in local communities of color and the overturning of Roe v. Wade has increased disinformation on women’s reproductive health, local health officials say.

Negative political ads displayed on television
Disrupting Disinformation

Experts worry attack ads distort truth without lying

Published: November 7, 2022

Negative political ads can aid voters as they develop candidate opinions, yet some open to door to disinformation that threatens democracy.