Popular culture and misinformation thrive online. These two researchers can help you decipher the chaos.
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Happy Friday!

Social media apps like TikTok and Facebook give us greater access to knowledge — and allow the chaos of the internet to thrive. 
All of it can be confusing, exciting and scary. Who has access to my information? Why is this page showing me this specific advertisement? What’s trending? All of these are questions the sources this week can address. 

Misinformation on Facebook

Courtesy of Diego Groisman
Pronouns: he/him
[email protected]
Diego Groisman is a research scientist at Cybersecurity for Democracy, an independent, nonpartisan research organization at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. His team audits online platforms for misinformation and advocates for increased data transparency.

Groisman works on the Facebook Ad Observatory, which uses information from the browser plugin Ad Observer to track political advertisements on Facebook. In 2020, he identified Facebook ads specifically spreading misinformation to Latinx voters. He leads the project's efforts to engage with Spanish-speaking communities and to expand Spanish-language analysis to identify political ads for upcoming elections. 

Popular culture on TikTok

Courtesy of Adriana Amaral
Pronouns: she/her
[email protected]
Twitter: @adriaramaral
Adriana Amaral is a professor at the School of Creative Industries at Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS) in Brazil. She is an expert on pop culture and fan studies in the context of digital culture and media. Amaral’s research examines online trends in popular culture in relation to media industries, influencers and fans around the world, and especially in Brazil.

Amaral is the coordinator of UNISINOS' CULTPOP Research Laboratory, which is dedicated to the study of how popular culture, communications and technologies informing public policy. Amaral is also the key regional leader for Brazil and South America at the TikTok Cultures Research Network, where she facilitates an online community of qualitative scholars who study the cultures, economics and politics of TikTok.
Other sources of interest this week.

This spring semester, teachers, parents and students are weighing online and in-person learning options. Here is a thread of sources who can speak to the complexities of following public health advice in the classroom. 
Joris M. Ray is the superintendent of Shelby County Schools in Tennessee and an expert in K-12 education. As superintendent, Ray has focused on combating education inequality with efforts including providing digital devices and Internet access for every student, the third grade commitment to improve reading skills, promotion of African American male empowerment, and the alternative education program.
Sources of the Week on the news

  • The Supreme Court shut down vaccine mandates but, as Dr. Kavita Patel writes in her opinion on MSNBC, President Joe Biden still has other options.
  • The Guardian interviewed Ankit Panda about the latest North Korean hypersonic missile test. 
  • Philip Higuera provided context to NBC News on the climate change conditions that led to a rare Colorado fire in the winter. 
Thanks to all who have been utilizing sources.npr.org!

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👋 Enjoy your week!
Jireh Deng | they/she | Diverse Sources Intern
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