IPIE Begins Sharing a Landmark Series of Reports on the Global Information Environment  

July 19, 2023 – Switzerland – The International Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE), an independent global science organization providing actionable scientific assessments of threats to the world’s information environment, today began publishing a landmark series of reports about the state of the world’s information environment.

The first of the technical reports, Countermeasures for Mitigating Digital Misinformation: A Systematic Review, helps readers identify solutions to the global crisis in misinformation on critical issues.  The second technical report is titled Platform Responses to Misinformation: A Meta-Analysis of Data. The findings of both technical reports are highlighted in a summary for policymakers called Strategies for Improving the Global Information Environment: Results from a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. This short document, translated into 10 languages, presents the evidence that policy designers and scientific community members around the world need to consider as we work towards a more positive role for information technology in public life.  

The IPIE reports are first-of-their-kind cross-disciplinary reviews of over a decade of research, evaluating evidence from peer-reviewed journals produced by investigators from every continent, including countries where the costs of algorithmic manipulation and bias is measured in lost lives and livelihoods. In total, the unprecedented global review of scholarly articles about misinformation on social media platforms builds on 4,798 scholarly publications on the effects of misinformation, disinformation, and a range of related phenomena, helping readers better understand:   

  • What is the scale of misleading information on social media platforms, and how does it impact the global information environment?   
  • Which design solutions are most effective in mitigating the impact of misinformation on social media platforms, according to the latest scientific research?   
  • How has scientific knowledge about the problems and solutions changed over time, and evolved across disciplines?   

According to the Chair of the International Panel on the Information Environment, Phil Howard, “Until now, in-depth scientific knowledge at this scale and depth, about the nature of the problem and what counter measures can address them, simply wasn’t available. By filling this gap, the new IPIE reports  surface points of scientific consensus and unite research communities around the world.”  

According to the new reports:  

  • There is an emerging scientific consensus that content labels and corrective information help people to evaluate misleading information on social media.  
  • Other mitigation strategies may be viable, but there is little consensus about their effectiveness.  
  • If we want to mitigate the negative impacts of misinformation, the global research community must rise to the challenge, by using standardized measures and definitions and expanding research beyond the English-language and Western contexts.
  • If we want to improve our global information environment, the global research community must have more robust statistical reporting when testing countermeasures, and genuine scientific access to data from social media platforms.

“As the Internet and World Wide Web expand their reach, we are experiencing an increasingly polluted information environment in which fact and fiction vie for attention. Generative AI feedback loops, trained on web content, may accelerate the effect. The IPIE initiative draws on a deep talent pool to tackle these problems and to find solutions and incentives for their implementation. I cannot imagine a more timely effort,” said Vint Cerf, Internet Pioneer.  

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence are creating a seismic shift in our societies, with new opportunities and challenges,” said Professor Safiya Noble of UCLA and one of the IPIE’s architects. “One of the most fundamental and powerful areas where we experience this is in social inequality in how information and automation provide exciting new capacities for some people, but serious and potentially devastating consequences for others.”

Early findings from Strategies for Improving the Global Information Environment were first shared with scholars and world leaders who attended the Nobel Summit 2023 in Washington D.C. Beginning today, IPIE will be sharing the findings of the seminal research reports and the summary for policymakers with all key stakeholders.  


About the IPIE  

The Swiss-based International Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE) is an independent and global science organization committed to providing the most actionable scientific knowledge about threats to the world’s information environment. The mission of the IPIE is to provide policymakers, industry, and civil society with independent scientific assessments on the global information environment by organizing, evaluating, and elevating research, with the broad aim of improving the global information environment. Hundreds of leading scientists from around the world contribute to IPIE’s research and outputs. www.IPIE.info    


Media Contact: Sydney Dennen, IPIE, press@IPIE.info.    

Further details about the IPIE can be found on its website: www.IPIE.info.  



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