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. 

Election Interference

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

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.

Internet-based disinformation operations have infiltrated the universe of political communications in the United States. American politics and elections carry major implications for the national and global economy, as well as for diplomatic relations conducted by and with the United States. As a result, the United States is a major target for politically charged propaganda promulgated […]

Who should be responsible for curbing the spread of disinformation? We might start by looking at who is responsible for spreading it. Those of us who follow this topic closely know there are a number of answers to that question: nefarious foreign actors, irresponsible platforms, zealous partisans, politicians who lie with impunity, people who stand […]

“We are already at the point where you can’t tell the difference between deepfakes and the real thing,” Professor Hao Li of the University of Southern California tells the BBC. “It’s scary.” We are at the computer scientist’s deepfake installation at the World Economic Forum in Davos which gives a hint of what he means. […]

In recent days, President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial has been framed, in many quarters, as a programming clash with the 2020 election—a distraction felt especially acutely by the senators/jurors who would rather be out on the campaign trail. Yesterday, however, the election was front and center as top Democrats opened their formal case for Trump’s […]

On January 11, 2020, Taiwan held its 15th presidential and 10th Legislative Yuan election. Taiwanese citizens soundly re-elected Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, who won 57.1% of the vote over her opponents, Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu (who took 38.61%), and the People’s First Party candidate James Soong (4.26%). The DPP also maintained […]

Major social media platforms have empowered individuals who were previously unable to make their ideas visible on a large scale. They have dramatically altered the advertising markets by directly serving news to users to the detriment of media brands — thereby diverting an important source of income from news media. They have built users’ profiles […]

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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.