WASHINGTON (Oct. 7, 2021)—Facebook and other social media companies have faced increasing scrutiny on Capitol Hill after a former Facebook employee described how the company helps facilitate the spread of harmful content, including disinformation and hate messages. George Washington University has experts that can discuss recent research findings on how harmful content spreads on social media and what can be done to stop the spread or regulate the industry.
Rebekah Tromble, director of the GW Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics, can discuss the political discourse on social media, as well as the spread and impact of online misinformation. She can also talk about policy/regulatory solutions aimed at curbing the spread of harmful content.
Ethan Porter, an assistant professor of media and public affairs and cluster lead of the Misinformation/Disinformation Lab at the GW Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics, can talk about his recent study showing that fact-checking is an effective tool to combat misinformation.
Matthew Hindman, an associate professor of media and public affairs and cluster lead of the Investigations Cluster at the GW Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics, is an expert on online disinformation. He can talk about the spread of digital disinformation and the politics of search engines.
Lorien Abroms, a professor of prevention and community health and cluster lead of the Public Health and Governance Cluster at the GW Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics, can discuss the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 and other health issues. She can also discuss how social media can affect public health.
Neil Johnson, a professor of physics, studies how misinformation evolves and spreads online, especially related to vaccines. His recent work includes examining the battle between pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination communities on Facebook and how malicious content thrives and spreads online by bypassing the moderation efforts of individual social media platforms.
Casey Burgat, director of the Legislative Affairs master’s program, is an expert on Congress who can discuss congressional hearings and investigations, as well as measures lawmakers can take to regulate Facebook.
William Kovacic, a professor of law, is a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission who is an expert on antitrust law and can discuss the regulation of major tech companies.