"The Biology of Disinformation," a paper by Rushkoff, Pescovitz, and Dunagan

My Institute for the Future colleagues Douglas Rushkoff, Jake Dunagan, and I wrote a research paper on the "Biology of Disinformation" and how media viruses, bots and computational propaganda have redefined how information is weaponized for propaganda campaigns. While technological solutions may seem like the most practical and effective remedy, fortifying social relationships that define human communication may be the best way to combat "ideological warfare" that is designed to push us toward isolation. As Rushkoff says, "adding more AI's and algorithms to protect users from bad social media is counterproductive: how about increasing our cultural immune response to destructively virulent memes, instead?" From The Biology of Disinformation:

The specter of widespread computational propaganda
that leverages memetics through persuasive
technologies looms large. Already, artificially intelligent
software can evolve false political and social constructs
highly targeted to sway specific audiences. Users find
themselves in highly individualized, algorithmically
determined news and information feeds, intentionally
designed to: isolate them from conflicting evidence
or opinions, create self-reinforcing feedback loops
of confirmation, and untether them from fact-based
reality. And these are just early days. If memes and
disinformation have been weaponized on social media, it
is still in the musket stage. Sam Woolley, director of the
Institute for the Future's (IFTF) Digital Intelligence Lab,
has concluded that defenders of anything approaching
"objective" truth are woefully behind in dealing with
computational propaganda. This is the case in both
technological responses and neuro-cultural defenses.
Moreover, the 2018 and 2020 US election cycles
are going to see this kind of cognitive warfare on an
unprecedented scale and reach.

But these mechanisms, however powerful, are only as
much a threat to human reason as the memetic material
they transmit, and the impact of weaponized memetics
itself on the social and political landscape. Memes serve
as both probes of collective cultural conflicts, and ways
of inflaming social divisions. Virulent ideas and imagery
only take hold if they effectively trigger a cultural
immune response, leading to widespread contagion.
This is less a question of technological delivery systems
and more a question of human vulnerability. The urgent
question we all face is not how to disengage from the
modern social media landscape, but rather how do we
immunize ourselves against media viruses, fake news,
and propaganda?

"The Biology OfDisinformation: Memes, Media Viruses, And Cultural Inoculation" (IFTF.org)