Cornell expert on SCOTUS ruling in social media dispute

The Supreme Court has sided with the Biden administration over how far the federal government can go to combat controversial social media posts.

Gordon Pennycook, associate professor of psychology, studies misinformation. His research has investigated various interventions on social media, including accuracy prompts, fact-checking or debunking, crowdsourcing and labeling or warnings. 

Pennycook says: “Our research shows that even unbiased misinformation policies can lead to politically unbalanced ‘sanctioning’ on social media. We found that political conservatives shared more misinformation on Twitter (now X) following the 2020 Presidential Election and, likely as a consequence, were more likely to be removed from the platform.

“Importantly, this is not because of political bias in fact-checking: We found that politically balanced groups of laypeople also rated the content coming from politically conservative accounts as being lower quality. The implication of this work is that claims that social media companies are specifically targeting conservatives are likely overblown (or, in many cases, simply wrong).”

For interviews contact Becka Bowyer, cell 607) 220-4185,

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