Sociological parameters to assess the information behavior of "Devourers of fakes"

Mkrtumova, Irina Vladimirovna
D.Sc. in Sociology, Professor,
Head of Centre on Strategic Development and Monitoring Research of the Research and Practical Center for Health & Docial Rehabilitation named after L.I. Shvetsova,
Expert of the Council on Professional Standards in Labor Safety, Social Protection and Employment of the Ministry of labor of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia


Relevance. The focus of the subjective perception by young people the news information flows and various social phenomena of contemporary objective reality often in a negative way, is gaining salience in the modern situation. The Youth, possible to say, living in the digital world, and this world accepted by many of them as real. Streams of fake digital information are aimed at disinformation, at disorienting of value and social benchmarks, primarily among young people in the postmodern vector.

The problem. Qualitative characteristics or quantitative indicators (Humanities vs Sciences)? How to quantify quality category – the level of criticality/uncriticality of subjective perception of information, the effectiveness of fakes? And how to translate this quality category into digital indicators to be understandable by device? How to train machine to recognize the "fakes"?

Practice. One of the options for a sociological solution to the problem of quantification of qualitative categories and methods to identify the carriers of certain models of information behavior – for example "devourers of fakes" – could be the quantification procedure elaborated by the author during a research thesis (1992, St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and has been tested in more than 10 studies, the results of which have been published.
The social definition, called the "devourers of fakes" for research purposes, parameterizes the ideal model of the most uncritical subjective perception of information flows by an individual. The "devourer of fakes" – a subject who immediately and without a doubt believes all the news, perceives words read on social networks, on Internet news or pronounced on YouTube, from the TV screen – as the truth of last resort. Quantification involves several procedures, including highlighting indicators – uniquely interpreted parameters that indicate the presence or absence of a feature.
A binary code is the basis of quantification. The further step is to construct mathematical model of the "devourers of fakes" feature, a procedure to analyzing information, which can make it possible to train the device to allocate the desired feature in digital information streams.
We get new heuristic possibilities for solving machine learning problems to identify indicators of information field polarization.

Keywords: quantification of qualitative categories, "devourers of fakes", machine learning, operationalization of social concepts