Disinformation has become a prominent, even dominant component of every political crisis. Fabricated images, AI bot, and troll farms make the headlines today and struggling to understand disinformation’s impacts has become an essential topic of inquiry.
From polling, data research or scientific analysis, here are some of the most important recent studies about disinformation.
1) Remember the fake news campaign that brought disinformation into the mainstream discussion? Yes, that one: Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. This research from 2018 by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, a leading computer network analysis firm, for the United States Senate was, at the time, the most comprehensive analysis of Russian meddling. The researchers analyzed millions of posts and reactions online and determined how the notorious troll farm, the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency, tailored different messages to galvanize individual Trump supporters and discourage non-supporters from casting votes at all. The focus had been on Facebook and Twitter; these researchers unraveled how the Internet Research Agency used YouTube in their campaign and also uncovered their sloppiness, like cases of them paying for political ads with Russian rubles.