Disinformation as Political Communication

Freelon, Deen; Wells, Chris
Political Communication

This introduction to the special issue “Beyond Fake News: The Politics of Disinformation” contains four main sections. In the first, we discuss the major sociopolitical factors that have allowed disinformation to flourish in recent years. Second, we review the very short history of disinformation research, devoting particular attention to two of its more extensively studied conceptual relatives: propaganda and misinformation. Third, we preview the seven articles in this issue, which we divide into two types: studies of disinformation content and of disinformation reception. We conclude by advancing a few suggestions for future disinformation research.