Kate Starbird

It was so fringe we kind of laughed at it. That was a terrible mistake. We should have been studying it.¹

Kate Starbird (July 30, 1975 — ) is a researcher of crisis informatics and online rumors. She is an Assistant Professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. [1]

Starbird has been tracing the spread of misinformation on the web since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. [2] Her research points to an intentional use of disinformation by “alternative media” sites with an anti-globalist political agenda, like VeteransToday.com, BeforeItsNews.com, and TheRealStrategy.com, which appears to use bots to generate Profile on automated conspiracy theory tweets. [3]

“Your brain tells you ‘Hey, I got this from three different sources,’ ” she says. “But you don’t realize it all traces back to the same place, and might have even reached you via bots posing as real people. If we think of this as a virus, I wouldn’t know how to vaccinate for it.” [4]

Starbird received her PhD in Technology, Media and Society from the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado, [5] where she received a National Science Foundation Award for the project “Detecting Misinformation Flows in Social Media Spaces During Crisis Events.”[6] She has a BS in Computer Science from Standford University. [7] Starbird is a former professional basketball player, and was the national player of the year in 1997. [8] [9]

Selected papers

  • Rumors, False Flags, and Digital Vigilantes: Misinformation on
    Twitter after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing [10] (text) [11]
  • Information Wars: A Window into the Alternative Media Ecosystem, Conspiracy Theories, Muddled Thinking, and Political Disinformation [12]
  • Examining the Alternative Media Ecosystem through the Production of Alternative Narratives of Mass Shooting Events on Twitter [13]

External links

See also


[1] https://medium.com/@katestarbird
[2] http://www.npr.org/2017/04/09/523170115/how-misinformation-spreads-on-the-internet-and-how-to-stop-it
[3] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39930236
[4] http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/uw-professor-the-information-war-is-real-and-were-losing-it/
[5] https://www.hcde.washington.edu/starbird
[6] htt6s://www.hcde.washington.edu/news/kate-starbird-receives-nsf-award
[7] The Communication Crisis in America, And How to Fix It
edited by Mark Lloyd, Lewis A. Friedland p. xxi
[8] Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary edited by David L. Porter p. 451
[9] http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/college/kate-starbird-former-basketball-star-chooses-a-different-route-8212-as-usual/
[10] http://faculty.washington.edu/kstarbi/Starbird_iConference2014-final.pdf (text)
[11] Social Media: A Reference Handbook: A Reference Handbook, by Kelli S. Burns, p. 135
[12] https://medium.com/hci-design-at-uw/information-wars-a-window-into-the-alternative-media-ecosystem-a1347f32fd8f
[13] http://faculty.washington.edu/kstarbi/Alt_Narratives_ICWSM17-CameraReady.pdf (preliminary text)


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