what we're reading

An ongoing roundup of the latest articles of interest, curated from across the web.

"Google and MIT prove social media can slow the spread of fake news"

Google and MIT prove social media can slow the spread of fake news

Mark Wilson

Fast Company

Jigsaw and MIT have published a new study that proves sharing misinformation can be thwarted with a simple UX fix.

Instagram’s new Hide Likes user interface

What Instagram really learned from hiding like counts

Casey Newton

The Platformer

After more than two years of testing, today Instagram announced [that]... removing likes doesn’t seem to meaningfully depressurize Instagram, for young people or anyone else, and so likes will remain publicly viewable by default.

A magnifying glass looking at papers to suggest the idea of verification.

Unreliable social science research gets more attention than solid studies

Cathleen O’Grady

Science Magazine

Citation counts on Google Scholar were significantly higher for the papers that failed to replicate, they report today in Science Advances, with an average boost of 16 extra citations per year.

Two queer men lying in bed.

Online Dating Apps Are Actually Kind of a Disaster

Nancy Jo Sales


The multibillion-dollar industry—which has surged during the pandemic—puts many individuals at risk, and nothing’s being done about it.

Tucker Carlson presenting on a stage.

The Cause of America’s Post-Truth Predicament

Andy Norman

Scientific American

People have been manipulated to think that beliefs needn’t change in response to evidence, making us more susceptible to conspiracy theories, science denial and extremism.

A GIF of iPhones disappearing.

Why Aren’t Text Message Interventions Designed to Boost College Success Working at Scale?

Ben Castleman

The Behavioral Scientist

Recent experimental studies show that these statewide and national text campaigns have not had the same impact on college enrollment or persistence as we estimated in the initial RCTs.

People standing in a row, one is silhouetted out to evoke the concept of individuality.

The Future of Nudging Will Be Personal

Stuart Mills

The Behavioral Scientist

Should nudging penalize people that differ from the average just because, on the whole, a policy would benefit the population?

An image showing a "breaking news" alert in two different styles.

Fonts and Fake News: Tackling Disinformation with Disfluent Typography

John Fallot


How some typefaces help make us angry and disinformed—and what we can do about it