Finding Truth among the Tweets. Our expert weighs in on the role social media has during war.

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With the Israel-Hamas war raging on, social media provides a source of information for many individuals to stay up to date. Across platforms there are reliable sources but there are also those with an agenda to spread false truth, blatant lies and sew doubt with doses of 'mis' and disinformation.

It's a topic Goizueta Business School professor David Schweidel is watching closely.

"We are seeing once again the need for the regulation of social media platforms," says Schweidel. " Platforms have a financial incentive to serve up the most provocative and arousing content and content moderation is often at odds with financial goals."

Social media is being flooded with content, much of it misinformation, and social platforms are unwilling or unable to effectively moderate what’s being posted.

"Beyond the likely reduction in revenue, implementing content moderation at scale is expensive and difficult. If viewed from a short-term financial perspective, allowing for a free for all is less costly and will result in more user engagement, which drives revenue," Schweidel adds.

And it is not as if legislators and lawmakers are not aware. As of today, social media platforms aren’t liable for the content posted on them (under the FCC’s Section 230). Two recent lawsuits sought to challenge section 230, but the Supreme Court declined to take such action. These challenges were based on platforms actively promoting content through their algorithms, thereby going beyond simply being intermediaries providing access to content posted online by others. Some, such as the ACLU, view this as allowing for free speech online.

There's a lot more to know, such as:

  • The challenges in identifying real vs. fake content
  • Which platforms are being effective in moderating content
  • How US and EU laws vary in terms of regulating misinformation on social media platforms

And that's where we can help.

David A. Schweidel is Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. He's a renowned marketing analytics expert focused on the opportunities at the intersection of marketing and technology.

David is available to speak with media regarding this important topic, simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.