So, many thanks to all of you for helping out with the survey (here), especially since it takes some time to complete. It will be awhile before I manage to process everything (a rough count of 16,000 words at the moment, from slightly over 80 responses), but I thought it would be productive to share a little about the background, motivations, and methodology.
Why do this? Why misinformation and disinformation? I am doing this research as part of a new media and politics module in school, but am personally interested in these issues. It would seem that misinformation and disinformation has become more commonplace in online news and journalism sites (because of the competition for more eyeballs, fictitious identities and pseudonyms, as well as the convenience of publishing and dissemination), but the distortion of information – intentional or not – has happened on mass media platforms since time immemorial.
I too have been guilty of perpetuating certain falsehoods (the recent post on the National Service volunteer scheme, here, for instance). While seemingly innocuous, I have always felt that these careless oversights would prove costly in the long run.
How did you choose TOC, TRE, and TRS? These sites ranked the highest, based on the Alexa ranking (a rough aggregate of page views, and number of sites linking to them) and the number of Facebook likes. In addition, whenever academic papers speak of alternative channels of media expression, TOC and TRE have been regularly referenced.
Respective instances of untruths from these websites were chosen based on their timeliness (within the last two years), and the representativeness (across different domains or issues).
What are your research questions? Brief methodology? First, what is the extent of misinformation and disinformation in online news and journalism sites in Singapore? Second, what are the effects of misinformation and disinformation in Singapore, particularly in the context of news dissemination and journalism in the country’s online communities? Third, what are the relevant policy recommendations that can be contemplated?
Through a literature review, most are critical of misinformation and disinformation; in other words, that they necessarily yield a host of ramifications (though dissenting views are present too). Might not actually be the case, nonetheless. Therefore, the quantitative survey will form a huge part of the survey. I was expecting to process figures, but the amount of content I have now has been a pleasant surprise.
Besides the actual findings, will be happy to answer any other questions!