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. 

COVID-19

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus highlights the need for further research examining the intersections between misinformation, science, fear, and public health.

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.

Fake news was widely cited as a problem during the 2016 US election, but a new analysis suggests that, at least in that country, it may not affect public opinion as much as has been suggested. Duncan Watts at the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues analysed the daily media consumption habits of people in the […]

As the coronavirus spreads with unsettling speed across the world, so has press coverage of hoarding. Food. Medical supplies. Toilet paper. Panicked citizens with frustratingly little control over a pandemic are instead seizing upon one thing they can do, which is stock up for what feels like an apocalypse. News outlets can’t get enough of […]

YouTube has allowed some peddlers of disinformation about the coronavirus to earn money from advertising, according to a Tech Transparency Project investigation, despite its promise to limit the ability to creators who produce quality videos about the pandemic. TTP found advertising on several YouTube videos promoting questionable coronavirus treatments, like home remedies, meditative music, and […]

“The whole point about zombies, actually, is you really can never fully kill them,” warns Nobel Laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in the latest episode of “Pitchfork Economics.” Before you conclude that one of the most important economists of our time has lost his mind, you should know that the zombies Krugman is […]

When medical authorities in China claimed they’d cured more than 750 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, using pseudoscience, one major British newspaper made sure there was space for China’s party line on the story. “Traditional Chinese medicine ‘helps fight coronavirus,’” declared the March 3 headline, in the online version of the […]

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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.