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.

Check out Mediawell’s weekly roundup of content, this week focusing on various perspectives on social media regulation. View scholarly and news article excerpts and their sources here.

SAN FRANCISCO — Last fall, Google unveiled a breakthrough artificial intelligence technology called BERT that changed the way scientists build systems that learn how people write and talk. But BERT, which is now being deployed in services like Google’s internet search engine, has a problem: It could be picking up on biases in the way […]

Just two organizations were responsible for the majority of anti-vaccine advertisements on Facebook before the social media giant restricted such content in March of this year, according to a November 13 study in the journal Vaccine. Of 145 anti-vaccine Facebook advertisements that ran between May 31, 2017 and February 22, 2019, the World Mercury Project […]

Every minute, an estimated 3.8 million queries are typed into Google, prompting its algorithms to spit out results for hotel rates or breast-cancer treatments or the latest news about President Trump. They are arguably the most powerful lines of computer code in the global economy, controlling how much of the world accesses information found on […]

Facebook has been weathering a series of disapproving news cycles after clarifying that its disinformation policies exempt political ads from review for truthfulness. There are now reports that the company is considering reducing the targeting options available to political advertisers. No matter how Facebook and its counterparts tweak their policies, whatever these companies do will […]

The campaign for Sri Lanka’s November 16 presidential election ended on Wednesday, but voters are concerned about an apparent spike in fake news on social media, and its possible impact over the next two days. As candidates made their final pitch, some of their supporters unleashed unambiguously racist posts and fake news-based attacks online — […]

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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.