Effects of misinformation diffusion during a pandemic

Applied Network Science Cover Image

The role of misinformation diffusion during a pandemic is crucial. An aspect that requires particular attention in the analysis of misinfodemics is the rationale of the source of false information, in particular how the behavior of agents spreading misinformation through traditional communication outlets and social networks can influence the diffusion of the disease. We studied the process of false information transmission by malicious agents, in the context of a disease pandemic based on data for the COVID-19 emergency in Italy. We model communication of misinformation based on a negative trust relation, supported by findings in the literature that relate the endorsement of conspiracy theories with low trust level towards institutions. We provide an agent-based simulation and consider the effects of a misinfodemic on policies related to lockdown strategies, isolation, protection and distancing measures, and overall negative impact on society during a pandemic. Our analysis shows that there is a clear impact by misinfodemics in aggravating the results of a current pandemic.

KEYWORDS  Misinformation, Misinfodemics, Multi-Agent Systems

Prandi, L., Primiero, G. Effects of misinformation diffusion during a pandemic. Appl Netw Sci 5, 82 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41109-020-00327-6 (Open Access)

A Logic of Negative Trust

We present a logic to model the behaviour of an agent trusting or not trusting messages sent by another agent. The logic formalizes trust as a consistency checking function with respect to currently available information. Negative trust is modeled in two forms: distrust as the rejection of incoming inconsistent information; mistrust, as revision of previously held information becoming undesirable in view of new incoming inconsistent information, which the agent wishes to accept. We provide a natural deduction calculus, a relational semantics and prove soundness and completeness results. We overview a number of applications which have been investigated for the proof-theoretical formulation of the logic.

G.Primiero, A Logic of Negative Trust, Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logic,

Online Seminar Series started. Pere Pardo (UNIMI): Towards a Tractable Epistemic Logic

The Logic Group successfully started its Seminar Series online on Teams last week. On 19/03 Pere Pardo gave a talk on “Towards a Tractable Epistemic Logic”. We will reschedule guest lectures and add group’s members lectures. The talks will be open to attend with a shared link. Monitor this website or contact us for updates.