Promote the need for sincere information for a democracy based on trust

Syntheses of research papers

To best understand what is occurring today around fake news and misinformation, Fondation Descartes is making summaries of key scientific publications on this topic available to all interested citizens. Without being exhaustive, these summaries allow us all to have an overview of current research, issues in question and the key results obtained. These summaries also can inform debate and deconstruct preconceived ideas relating to misinformation.

They will take on sometimes technical questions. We have made the choice not to hide the complexities, but to give as many tools as possible for understanding, so that anyone who is interested and motivated by the subject can understand the foundations and become familiar with scientific research tools. These summaries are also an opportunity to have an overview of practices and methods of scientific research in social sciences, for those who are interested.


Publication date

This report, written by Antoine Bristielle and Tristan Guerra for the Fondation Jean Jaurès, provides new data to understand the success of conspiracy theories in France and internationally.

The article describes the evolution of this outlet from its creation up until the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

In this Harvard University study, Yochai Benkler and his colleagues dissect what they consider to be a disinformation campaign instigated by high-ranking members of the Republican Party.

The aim of this study was twofold: (1) to assess the evolution of Danish people's attitude towards immigration; (2) to determine whether this attitude was influenced by their media consumption, particularly social media.

Does hate speech influence the way Internet users perceive the groups that suffer from it ?

The authors of this report note that there exists a strong link between the toxicity of the social media conversations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the worsening of the public health situation after March 26, 2020, the intensification of criticisms by political leaders, and the media treatment of the role played by the WHO in the management of the pandemic.

Does the number of “likes” or “shares” received by an article that appears on our Facebook or Twitter news feed influence the trust that we place in it? Do these signs of positive engagement with an article lead us, in turn, to like it and share it with others?

This article shows how discussions on the topic of vaccination are organized on Facebook. It highlights the worrying rise of anti-vaccine rhetoric, which is occupying an increasingly significant part of the discussion space.

The authors of this article hypothesize that the dissemination of fake news could undermine the trust that citizens place in their political institutions and in the mainstream media.

This article reconsiders two highly debated issues concerning the social network Twitter: the formation of echo chambers on the one hand, and the ideological fragmentation of this social network, on the other.

Endowment fund for the creation of the Fondation Descartes
8, Avenue du Président Wilson 75116 Paris.
usermagnifiercrossmenuchevron-down-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram