What Facebook and Instagram Users Tell Us About Misinformation

What Facebook and Instagram Users Tell Us About Misinformation

Tuesday, April 5, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Hubert Etienne

image of julie owono and hubert etienne on flyer
Join us on Tuesday, April 5th from 12 PM - 1 PM PT for “What Facebook and Instagram Users Tell Us About Misinformation” featuring Hubert Etienne, Philosopher and Researcher, Ecole Normale Supérieure and Meta AI in conversation with Julie Owono, Executive Director of the Content Policy & Society Lab. This weekly seminar series is jointly organized by the Cyber Policy Center’s Program on Democracy and the Internet and the Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative.

About The Seminar: 

Social media users who report content are key allies in the management of online misinformation. However, no research has been conducted yet to understand their role and the different trends underlying their reporting activity. Hubert Etienne presents an original approach to studying misinformation by examining it from the reporting users’ perspective at the content-level and comparatively across regions and platforms. This leads Etienne to propose the first classification of reported content pieces, resulting from a review of items reported on Facebook and Instagram in France, the UK, and the US in June 2020 to observe meaningful distinctions regarding misinformation reporting between countries and platforms as it significantly varies in volume, type, topic, and manipulation technique. Etienne identifies four reporting behaviors, from which he derives four types of noise capable of explaining the majority of the inaccuracy in misinformation reporting. He finally shows that breaking down the user reporting signal into a plurality of behaviors allows us to build a simple classifier trained on a small dataset with a combination of basic users-reports capable of identifying these different types of noise.


Hubert Etienne is a philosopher conducting research in AI ethics and computational philosophy at École Normale Supérieure and Meta AI. His research focuses on social interactions, especially the moderation of problematic interactions in cyberspace. He is a lecturer in AI ethics à Sciences Po, in data economics at HEC Paris and in digital regulation at the National School of Administration. He is currently a visiting fellow at Harvard University.

Julie Owono is the Executive Director of the Content Policy & Society Lab (CPSL) and a fellow of the Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) at Stanford University. She is also the Executive Director of digital rights organization Internet Sans Frontières, one of the inaugural members of the Facebook Oversight Board, and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. She holds a Master’s degree in International Law from la Sorbonne University in Paris, and practiced as a lawyer at the Paris Bar.