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Misinformation, Social Media, & the Effects on Society: Home

Buchanan Library Fellowship (Spring 2021)

This site contains the final projects produced by Vanderbilt students in the Misinformation, Social Media, & the Effects on Society seminar, a part of the Vanderbilt Libraries' Buchanan Library Fellows Program.

Fellowship description

Flush with the spirit of techno-optimism (information wants to be free!), the internet promised liberation by eliminating barriers to information, and enabling its spread instantaneously and globally. However, in recent years we have seen that misinformation spreads equally rapidly, generating profound social repercussions. From filter bubbles and echo chambers, to the cascading effects of conspiracy theories, we will explore the spread of misinformation on a variety of social media platforms, interrogate its meaning and its strategies, and question the efficacy of unregulated free speech or simple hierarchies of credibility as antidotes to misinformation. To engage further with the topics covered in the fellowship, students will record and produce podcasts as part of a developing series on media and society.

Fellowship project

For their final project, students selected a topic of interest related to course discussions and paired up to plan, record, and edit a podcast. In addition to the podcasts, fellows complied a list of further readings on their topics.

Spring 2021 Fellows

Giselle Fiestan

Yuna Jeon

Agneetta Moisio

Sophia Podolsky

Karen Pu

Marissa Tessier

Kathir Venkat

Livvy Whitmore


Andrew Wesolek 

Bobby Smiley

Melissa Mallon

A three-part miniseries on algorithms and social media. Episode 1 focuses on algorithmic journalism, the practice of automating the news. Episode 2 discusses how algorithmic bias has acutely affected historically oppressed communities, particularly Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) content creators on social media platforms. Episode 3 dives into the widespread effects of algorithmic bias on a societal level, reinforcing existing racial, socioeconomic, and sociocultural biases through machine learning, sorting, and facial recognition. This podcast is recorded and produced by Yuna Jeon and Sophia Podolsky.

This podcast focuses on the necessity of social media regulations to address privacy concerns and control the spread of misinformation. This podcast is recorded and produced by Agneeta Moisio, Kathir Venkat, and Giselle Fiestan.

This podcast defines misinformation and looks at different issues contributing to its spread, including demographic social media habits and conspiracy theories. This podcast is recorded and produced by Karen Pu, Marissa Tessier, and Livvy Whitmore.