The Department of Economics (Brown Bag Series)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Department of Economics (Brown Bag Series) is aorganising a talk titled "Countering Misinformation on Social Media Through Educational Interventions - Evidence from Urban Pakistan" by Dr. Ayesha Ali

The increasing availability of low-cost mobile Internet access in developing countries has led to the widespread use of social media platforms. Concurrently, the spread of misinformation on such platforms is also on the rise. Through household-level surveys, this research captures the trends in social media usage among low and middle-income users in Pakistan. A test, created with a list of actual news stories circulated on social media, is used to measure the extent to which users are likely to believe misinformation. Consequently, the research evaluates the effectiveness of two interventions for countering misinformation in a randomized control setting. The first intervention educates users about common features of misinformation through a video. The second intervention involves both showing an educational video and providing feedback to users regarding their past behaviors in engaging with misinformation. The results conclude that showing the video alone has no effect vis-a-vis countering misinformation. However, showing the video and giving personal feedback increases the ability of treated users to identify fake news by 11% relative to the control group.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Ayesha Ali is an Assistant Professor in Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. She researches applied microeconomics with a focus on energy and information economics. Her research makes use of large administrative data sets, field data collection, and rigorous empirical analysis to answer policy-relevant questions. Her current research examines the effect of electricity outages on household welfare, the effectiveness of policies to control electricity theft, understanding and countering misinformation on social media, competition and news media quality, and the economic consequences of internet censorship. She completed her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Toronto, Canada in 2016.


Friday, September 0, 2019

3:00 pm

A3 Academic Block, LUMS