Doctoral Thesis: Empowering Users on Social Media for Better Content Credibility

Monday, June 12
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

32-G882 (Hewlett Room)

Farnaz Jahanbakhsh

Abstract: As misinformation raged on online social spaces and threatened people’s lives and even democracy, platforms rose as the authority on misinformation detection and moderation. However, concerns about freedom of speech and listening rights and the autonomy of individuals in deciding what content to consume, as well as the misalignment in incentives between the users and the platforms should give us pause in accepting this centralized moderation as the optimal solution. In my dissertation, I have explored an alternative approach to misinformation moderation-a democratized one that empowers every user to have a say in what content they consider misinforming and what they want to do with such content. I have investigated the following questions: 1) how to alter the design of social media platforms to enable users to have a say in what is misinformation, 2) how this user empowerment changes the accuracy of shared content, 3) how to design tools that enable this user empowerment on the web and work on all platforms without needing support from them, 4) how to leverage AI not to impose “the truth” on users, but to help amplify users’ assessments, and 5) how to enable users beyond labeling content accuracy, and empower them to modify and “fix” online content.

Thesis Advisor: David Karger

Thesis committee: Arvind Satyanarayan, Adam Berinsky


  • Date: Monday, June 12
  • Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  • Category:
  • Location: 32-G882 (Hewlett Room)
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