Combatting Misleading Online Content

Fall 2021 CMSC-33231 Topics in Human Computer Interaction

@ University of Chicago


The Internet is rife with misleading online content that can have benign to malicious consequences on users. We are seeing this particularly now in the time of the COVID-19 global pandemic. To deal with this problem, we need to understand what types of misleading content exist, how to quantify the harm these types of content pose to users, what approaches are in place to detect and flag this content, and how to inform and educate users to be mindful of accepting such content at face value. In this seminar, we will discuss current topics related to combatting misleading online content, often relating this to the COVID-19 situation. These topics may include: disguised advertisements; dark patterns of design; misinformation; disinformation; media literacy; content moderation; and censorship. We will examine these topics mostly from a Human-Computer Interaction lens. Course meetings will include weekly readings and reading responses. Each class session will consist of a student presentation of a research paper and a facilitated discussion.

Course Outcomes:

  • Build up foundational knowledge on disinformation, misinformation, dark patterns, and addressing misleading online content

  • Understand how to conduct research in Human-Computer Interaction on these topics of interest



Prof. Marshini Chetty

Crerar 355

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Class Location and Time:

Lectures: Tuesdays, Thursdays, 9:30-10:50 am, Ryerson 178

Office Hours:

  • Wednesdays 2:30-3:30pm (Crerar 355; sign up in advance by emailing/sending Slack message to Marshini)

Course Submission:

Course Slack: