Research Topics

MediaWell organizes all of its content into one or more of the Research Topics below. Each one is associated with articles, scholars, citations, and events, and each will ultimately feature a dedicated Live Research Review summarizing the latest academic findings in that area.

If you’re new to the field of disinformation studies and looking for a place to start, we recommend “Defining Disinformation.”

Algorithms and Automation

Researchers are exploring how disinformation campaigns use bots and automation tools, and how algorithms can encode and reproduce biases and ideologies.

Consequences of Exposure

What happens when individuals are exposed to misinformation? Researchers are studying the societal effects of contaminated information environments.

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.

Credibility and Trust

How do populist politics and other anti-elite, anti-institutional movements intersect with new technologies and declining public trust in science and media?

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.

Election Interference

Elections around the world are threatened by rival states and international radical networks. This summary focuses on coordinated disinformation campaigns.

How Misinformation Spreads

What characteristics of social media facilitate the spread of misinformation? This collection addresses both network effects and individual behaviors.

Mitigating Misinformation

Responses to misinformation include media literacy, fact checking, and more technology. This collection discusses how researchers evaluate their effectiveness.

Producers of Disinformation

The boundaries between politically and commercially motivated disinformation campaigns are blurring. This summary includes studies from Myanmar and India.

Regulation and Policy

Changes at social media platforms, shifting roles of traditional media, and varying governmental responses all contribute to a chaotic information environment.

Targets of Disinformation

Recent research reveals how contemporary online harassment fits into historical patterns of oppression of women, minorities, and vulnerable groups.

Wedge Issues

Disinformation campaigns try to take advantage of existing rifts in societies, such as those rooted in ethnicity, social class, and other markers of identity.