Research Topics

Targeted Disinformation

Who gets targeted for disinformation, harassment, scams, or doxxing? What societal effects can we observe when that targeting is based on individual and group identity? Contemporary online harassment and other techniques of subjugation fit into historical patterns of oppression. This collection encompasses identity-based targeting, networked harassment, and other forms of online abuse. 

Defining “Disinformation”

What are dis- and misinformation? What about propaganda and “fake news?” This introduction discusses the importance of a unified set of definitions in the social sciences.

Contexts of Misinformation

We distill recent research on some of the contexts of misinformation, such as increasing political polarization and the potential effects of echo chambers.

The Biden administration revealed Friday that Russia might use a “false flag” operation as pretext for further invasion into Ukraine. The effort to disarm deception contains lessons for the Democratic Party here at home. The Post reported last week that Russia will likely stage a phony “attack on Russian-backed separatists or Russian-speaking people in Ukraine” that […]

Conspiracy theorists are using the aviation industry’s concerns about the launch of 5G services near airports as “proof” that their wild claims about the technology are also true. Whether it’s claims that 5G is being used to spread COVID, or that the next-gen wireless technology is part of a plot to control the human population, […]

Ninety-five percent of Americans believe misinformation is a problem, according to a poll conducted by The Pearson Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The majority of those surveyed say social media giants, its users and some U.S. politicians are responsible for its reckless spread. While the nation attempts to wrestle the infodemic […]

It’s called artistic license. Feature films often rewrite history and most of the time we love it. Take Quentin Tarantino’s movies or award-winning costume dramas like The Favourite or rose-tinted backward glances like The Green Book. But what if revisionist feature films become a tool of government propaganda? Here are five films whose treatment of […]

Entering the new year, Americans are increasingly divided. They clash not only over differing opinions on COVID-19 risk or abortion, but basic facts like election counts and whether vaccines work. Surveying rising political antagonism, journalist George Packer recently wondered in The Atlantic, “Are we doomed?” It is common to blame people who are intentionally distributing […]

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MediaWell compiles news and scholarship on digital disinformation and misinformation. Our literature reviews and news collections curate the latest knowledge on networked democracy, media, and technology.