OECD Going Digital Toolkit Notes

The rapid pace of digital transformation creates both opportunities and risks. Going Digital Toolkit notes identify key aspects to consider about the range of emerging digital policy and measurement challenges. They also provide practical, innovative approaches to addressing these issues.


Disentangling untruths online

Creators, spreaders and how to stop them

While false rumours, inaccurate reporting, and conspiracy theories have existed for as long as there were people to create and spread them, the Internet has reshaped and amplified the ability to produce and perpetuate false and misleading content. Stopping the creators and spreaders of untruths online is essential to reducing political polarisation, building public trust in democratic institutions, improving public health, and more generally improving the wellbeing of people and society. This Going Digital Toolkit note discusses the importance of access to accurate information online and presents a novel typology of the different types of untruths that circulate on the Internet. It considers how untruths are spread online as well as the consequences, and it surveys the evidence base of false and misleading information online. The note concludes by identifying approaches to fighting untruths online and mitigating their negative effects.


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