The Lawfare Podcast: Ben Kaiser and Jonathan Mayer on Fighting Misinformation Online

By Jen Patja Howell
Tuesday, August 10, 2021, 5:01 AM

The spread of misinformation is one of the biggest challenges facing social media platforms. A standard approach is to label suspicious posts or links so as to warn users that what they're engaging with is not reputable, but warnings, despite their wide use, haven't proven to be particularly successful. So what's a social media platform to do?

Two Princeton University computer scientists, Ben Kaiser, a PhD student, and Professor Jonathan Mayer, think they've found a better way. Instead of warning users about misinformation, they propose putting roadblocks between users and the misinformation they're tempted to click on. Alan Rozenshtein spoke with Ben and Jonathan about their research and about a piece they and Dr. J. Nathan Matias wrote recently for Lawfare entitled, "Warnings that Work: Combating Misinformation Without Deplatforming."