Feedback loops

The original focus of University of Washington’s Professor Kate Starbird’s research was Crisis Informatics, “the study of how information-communication technologies are used during crisis events, including natural disasters (like earthquakes and hurricanes) and man-made disasters (such as shooting events and acts of terrorism). … Initially, [her] research focused on the pro-social activities that social media platforms facilitate — for example, how people come together after crisis events to help themselves, their neighbors, and even people halfway around the world.”

More recently Starbird has studied the NOT-pro-social consequences “perpetrated by increasingly dense and often oddly connected networks of accounts.” It is important and scary work.

The infographic above is part of an illuminating slideshow Starbird put together “to help explain the dynamics of ‘participatory disinformation’ and how that motivated the January 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol.” Click on the image to see the whole thing.

Credit: Kate Starbird, University of Washington, Human Centered & Design Program and Center for an Informed Public

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