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.

In the lengthy battle over the UK’s future, one that often feels like a fight for the country’s soul, trust in institutions is on the wane. The Brexit stalemate has exacerbated the widespread distrust of politics, the media and the electoral system on both sides of the aisle. And as that distrust has deepened, it […]

In October, a group of top elected officials in western democracies wrote to Facebook expressing concern about the company’s plans to incorporate end-to-end encryption in all of its messaging products. US Attorney General Bill Barr, along with his rough equivalents in the United Kingdom and Australia, wrote that encryption would make it difficult or impossible […]

A new harassment policy will see videos that “maliciously insult” people based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation banned from YouTube after the company faced intense backlash around the right-wing comedian Steven Crowder’s targeting of gay Latino journalist Carlos Maza. YouTube announced the new guidelines on Wednesday. Some of Crowder’s videos that targeted Maza will also […]

wdm-post-content wdm-post-grid We started 2019 with Gannett layoffs at local newspapers, we’re ending  2019 with Gannett layoffs at local newspapers, and Ken Doctor’s look at continued newspaper consolidation in 2020 is devastating. It’s quite the end to quite a decade. News deserts, or places without news, have spread in the last 10 years, and they’ve […]

Next year’s presidential election will challenge journalists, technology platforms, and researchers with an unprecedented wave of disinformation. Is the press prepared? What is the role of foreign intervention in the new wave of disinformation? Are the measures platforms and newsrooms are taking adequate? What is current research telling us about the threats journalists and the […]

LONDON — Manipulated Twitter accounts, doctored videos, dodgy websites and questions of foreign meddling. In just six weeks, the campaign leading up to Britain’s general election this Thursday has had a taste of what the dark arts of online campaigning have to offer. But in addition to concerns about material originating with shadowy groups or […]

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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.