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.

On Friday morning, Jeff Sites, a challenger to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, didn’t have a blue verification badge on his official Twitter page. Sites had announced his campaign months earlier, so he should have been verified months ago. It caught the eye of one volunteer named Nancy Levine, who has been monitoring Twitter’s plan to […]

Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been experimenting with novel tactics to cultivate an online following, or at least the appearance of one. But one of the strategies — deploying a large number of Twitter accounts to push out identical messages — has backfired. On Friday, Twitter began suspending 70 accounts posting pro-Bloomberg content in […]

On July 13, 2018, five friends took a road trip to the south Indian village of Handikera, which is in the state of Karnataka. The five men, Salham al-Kubassi, Mohammed Salman, Mohammed Azam, Mohammed Afroz and Noor Mohammad, traveled to the outskirts of town for a picnic. They drove by children getting out of school […]

The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal. The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global […]

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration said on Tuesday said it will begin treating five major Chinese state-run media entities with U.S. operations the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and U.S. properties with the State Department. Two senior state department officials said the decision was made because China has been […]

Over the past four years, Facebook has made a big show of demonstrating how much it cares about democracy and how much it’s doing to combat election interference or fake news. It has assembled “war rooms” and published white papers. It has hired thousands of content moderators (as in, they’re looking at content; they’re actually […]

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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.