The aim of this study is to explore the motivations and assumptions behind technical responses to the problem of disinformation, content validation, and media provenance (from the expert interviews) in comparison to the tactics and assessments audiences make when accessing online information (from the diary study).
The objective is to understand the socially constructed ways in which people interact with online information – the tactics, thoughts, and actions that people perform in their everyday lives, in order to put these in dialogue with dominant technical responses to the problem of misinformation.
The DataDiaries study was conducted by researchers at Newcastle University in collaboration with BBC R&D. It aimed to look at the way people access and interact with online information to understand how people review and validate information online.
The study consisted of two parts. After a recruitment drive that led to over 150 people applying to take part, the team found 19 participants to fill in their DataDiaries over a two-week period.
People would be asked to fill in information such as: what news they had accessed, how they had found it and whether they had passed along the news to others. The Open Lab team built a bespoke platform that allowed people to easily share the news they had accessed either on a computer or via their phone.
After the two-week period was up, participants were invited to an interview where they were asked to reflect on their experience and the data collected during the study. As part of the second phase, participants were given short booklets with infographics about their news consumption and a short poem written by ChatGPT based on the data collected.
People: Ian Johnson, Rob Anderson, Vasilis Vlachokyriakos, Caro Claisse