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U.S. college and university students voting in swing states could yield a big return for Biden.

By Delilah Kutler; editing: Karen Wickre.

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Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Gen Z (born 1996–2015) may hold the key to the White House, but not because they can learn a TikTok dance in under a minute. The advantage Gen Z voters hold this year is their ability to choose where to vote.

There are about 24 million eligible Gen Z voters, representing one in ten eligible voters this election cycle. A May 2020 Pew Research study described Gen Zers as “progressive and pro-government,” with a negative view of nationalism.

As of 2018, 57% of Gen Zers aged 18 to 21 were enrolled in a two- or four-year college. …


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Investigation by Hawkfish Research. Writing by Hawkfish Creative. Thanks to Smith & Diction for the graphics.

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Online disinformation can feel like an intractable problem. False narratives spread far and wide, and are often amplified by political leaders and mass media so that it seems impossible to combat distortions and lies. Once a conspiracy theory becomes pervasive in public discourse, it’s unclear if media literacy or extensive fact-checking will make a difference, even when disinformation poses a threat to public health, social cohesion, and ultimately the stability of democracy.

This is a hard problem, and no one has all the answers, but our recent investigation highlights a few aspects of online disinformation that offer clues about what we can concretely do about the problem. …


How the False Narrative of a COVID “Cure” Took Hold on the Right

Investigation by Hawkfish Research. Writing by Hawkfish Creative. Thanks to Smith & Diction for the graphics.

To stop disinformation before it wreaks widespread havoc, we need a granular understanding of how it spreads. Tracing the dissemination of the falsehood that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 bolstered our conclusions about the predictable paths that conservative hoaxes can travel in social discourse.

Before President Trump revved it into overdrive, false information about HCQ — a drug used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis — spread from non-authoritative Twitter users to conservative mass media. …

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