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.

Viral hoaxes about local politicians, false information about medicine and rumors of child kidnapping have always been tough stories for journalists to cover in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populated state. But some months ago, after witnessing several cases of violence due to such rumors, Meera Devi, a local reporter from a community media outlet called […]

Given the phenomenon it describes, it’s perhaps appropriate that the concept of “filter bubbles” has turned out to be so polarizing. To believers, it’s self-evident that social feeds mostly show people news that confirms’ users prior beliefs, encouraging partisanship and tribalism. To skeptics, the phenomenon describes behavior that has little to do with tech and […]

Political parties are trying to find ways to use WhatsApp as a campaign tool in the general election, but Britons’ reluctance to join group chats involving strangers is hindering the effort. The pro-Labour campaign group Momentum is urging supporters to sign up to its WhatsApp broadcast service to receive messages to forward to their friends, […]

Check out Mediawell’s weekly roundup of content relating to the SSRC’s newly released report, “#Islamophobia: Stoking Fear and Prejudice in the 2018 Midterms”, which details online harassment campaigns targeting Muslim candidates in the 2018 midterm elections. View excerpts and links to our selected articles here.

Social media Button BEGINTwenty years ago, journalists could not have imagined the present situation for media in Venezuela, according to Luz Mely Reyes, director and co-founder of digital site Efecto Cocuyo. Yet, back in 2000, there were signs of what was to come. That was the beginning of harassment of broadcast media and the closure […]

The 2020 US Census is only five months away. This nationwide population count, which takes place every 10 years, determines everything from Social Security payouts to how the government spends money on schools and hospitals to where businesses open new stores—and everyone is worried about attempts to skew the count.  Some groups, like young children, […]

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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.