Research Topics

Producers of Disinformation

Who creates disinformation, and why? In some cases, the motivations seem strictly economic, while other campaigns have obvious political motives. However, it seems increasingly difficult to draw clear distinctions between the two, suggesting that these boundaries are shifting. This literature review draws on recent scholarship on case studies from India, Russia, the United States, and Venezuela. 

COVID-19

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus highlights the need for further research examining the intersections between misinformation, science, fear, and public health.

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.

I am a gay man who lived through the Aids pandemic, so many people have asked me to compare that crisis with the one we now face. The main difference between the two is that Aids at first appeared to afflict specific populations, while coronavirus is an equal opportunity malady. I remember when I visited […]

Melissa Lau, a veteran middle-school science teacher, is getting used to a new reality shared by parents and educators across the country: virtual classrooms and remote learning. School closures due to the coronavirus outbreak have impacted public and private schools that serve over 55 million students across the U.S. Many have shifted to online learning. Of the myriad challenges this […]

Over the past few weeks, misinformation about the new coronavirus pandemic has been spreading across social media at an alarming rate. One video that went viral claimed breathing hot air from a hair dryer could treat COVID-19. A Twitter post touted injecting vitamin C to the bloodstream to treat the viral disease. Other threads hyped […]

cache hit 1220:single/related:36bb2b159f54d4d9d0dd63406f874a4b empty At this point, it’s old news that Russia is intervening in US society in part by using troll farms organized by its Internet Research Agency. While the farms’ most high-profile activity was supporting Donald Trump during the 2016 election, the trolls were active both before and since, largely in attempts to […]

Fake news was widely cited as a problem during the 2016 US election, but a new analysis suggests that, at least in that country, it may not affect public opinion as much as has been suggested. Duncan Watts at the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues analysed the daily media consumption habits of people in the […]

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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.