digital media

Research note: Fighting misinformation or fighting for information?

A wealth of interventions have been devised to reduce belief in fake news or the tendency to share such news. By contrast, interventions aimed at increasing trust in reliable news sources have received less attention. In this article, we show that, …

Misinformation on Misinformation: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges

Alarmist narratives about online misinformation continue to gain traction despite evidence that its prevalence and impact are overstated. Drawing on research questioning the use of big data in social science and reception studies, we identify six …

Cultural transmission bias in the spread of voter fraud conspiracy theories on Twitter during the 2020 US election

During the 2020 US presidential election, conspiracy theories about large-scale voter fraud were widely circulated on social media platforms. Given their scale, persistence, and impact, it is critically important to understand the mechanisms that …

Cultural Accumulation and Improvement in Online Fan Fiction

We analyse stories in Harry Potter fan fiction published on Archive of Our Own (AO3), using concepts from cultural evolution. In particular, we focus on cumulative cultural evolution, that is, the idea that cultural systems improve with time, drawing …

The impact of the “World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates” list on scientific publications and media

Assessing the impact of conservation campaigns is of high importance for optimizing the use of limited resources. Lists of threatened species are often used as media outreach tools, but their usefulness is rarely tested. We investigated whether the …

Cultural evolution in the digital age

From emails to social media, from instant messaging to political memes, the way we produce and transmit culture is radically changing. Understanding the consequences of the massive diffusion of digital media is of the utmost importance, both from the …

Cognitive attraction and online misinformation

The spread of online misinformation has gained mainstream attention in recent years. This paper approaches this phenomenon from a cultural evolution and cognitive anthropology perspective, focusing on the idea that some cultural traits can be …

A cultural evolution approach to digital media

Digital media have today an enormous diffusion, and their influence on the behavior of a vast part of the human population can hardly be underestimated. In this review I propose that cultural evolution theory, including both a sophisticated view of …