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.

When an ad runs on a YouTube video, the video creator generally keeps 55 percent of the ad revenue, with YouTube getting the other 45 percent. This system’s designed to compensate content creators for their work. But when those videos contain false information — say, about climate change — it’s essentially encouraging the creation of […]

  TikTok, the short-form video app popular among Gen Z and best known for its viral dance challenges, is the No. 1entertainment app on Apple’s App Store. But publishers have seized on it for a different reason: They’re posting explainers and fact-checks pegged to the news. Sometimes they’re dancing too — all in the name […]

data-module-name=”article.app/lib/module/wsj/breadcrumbs” Facebook Inc. is backing away from efforts to sell ads in WhatsApp, in a retreat from a controversial plan that drove the creators of the popular messaging service to resign more than 18 months ago, according to people familiar with the matter. WhatsApp in recent months disbanded a team that had been established to […]

  As the 2020 presidential election nears, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on Thursday that it would start notifying states when local election systems are hacked in an effort to make elections more secure. Before, the bureau would only notify the owners of the breached equipment of cyberattacks, which were typically counties and local […]

As the 2020 federal election draws closer, the issue of online political advertising is becoming more important, and the differences in how the platforms are approaching it more obvious. Twitter has chosen to ban political advertising, but questions remain about how it plans to define that term, and whether banning ads will do more harm […]

After a successful 1st edition in Hamburg, Germany, the international MISDOOM symposium on misinformation in online media returns for a 2nd edition, this time hosted by Leiden University, the Netherlands. Topics include fake news, social bots, disinformation, filter bubbles, virality, deep fakes and related topics on misinformation in online media. The symposium brings together researchers […]

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Live research from the digital edges of democracy
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.