Research Topics

Defining “Disinformation”

What are dis- and misinformation? What about propaganda and “fake news?” How are researchers and activists defining these terms, and how are those definitions evolving? This introductory literature review addresses both contemporary and historical examples of disinformation and misinformation in mass media, and discusses the importance of a unified set of definitions in the social sciences. 

Election Interference

Elections around the world are threatened by rival states and international radical networks. This summary focuses on coordinated disinformation campaigns.

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.

Television was pivotal in bringing John Fitzgerald Kennedy to the American presidency in 1961. The candidate was charismatic, and his campaign was intelligent in how it exploited the nascent medium. But television did not merely amplify his existing characteristics, it markedly changed the tactics necessary to prevail in an election; that change in tactics entailed […]

Since last week, a network of Twitter bot accounts has been spreading confusion about the events surrounding Bolivian President Evo Morales’ abrupt resignation. The messages, which appear in English and Spanish, all carry the exact same text, beginning with the words, “Friends from everywhere, in Bolivia there was no coup.” Initial iterations of the tweet […]

Margrethe Vestager spent the past five years developing a well-earned reputation as the world’s top tech industry watchdog. From her perch overseeing Europe’s competition rules, she fined Google more than $9 billion for breaking antitrust laws, and forced Apple to pay about $14.5 billion for dodging taxes. Now she says that work, which made her […]

For the last few years, scientists have argued that we’re living through a distinctly new geological age. They call it the Anthropocene: a new age characterized by humanity’s profound impact on Earth itself as evidenced by pollution, mass extinction and climate change. We are currently facing a new systemic collapse, one that has built far […]

LONDON — Questions about the British government’s failure to release a report on Russia’s interference in the country’s politics continued to dog Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday as critics said leaks from the document raised concerns about the security of next month’s election. The report from Parliament’s intelligence committee concludes that Russian interference may […]

NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with Karen Kornbluh, senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund, about disinformation campaigns related to the impeachment hearings. MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: The first two public hearings in the impeachment inquiry this week generated a lot of online response, as you might expect. But we wondered if the hearings also generated a […]

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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.