Contexts of Misinformation

Dis- and misinformation are not created and spread in a vacuum. While concerns over information quality have rocketed to prominence in recent years, those concerns have been fueled by political, social, and technological changes decades in the making. We address some of the contexts of misinformation, beginning with political polarization, and the twin concepts of echo chambers and filter bubbles. 

Live Research Review

Terms such as “fake news,” misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, polarization, and networked harassment have rocketed to prominence in recent years. This literature review addresses some of the contexts of misinformation, beginning with political polarization and the twin concepts of ideological echo chambers and filter bubbles.

Teaching & Learning

Explore course modules, handouts, teaching tools and syllabi about dis- and misinformation.

Latest News on Contexts of Misinformation

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 […]

It appears that the world is heading toward a near-worst case scenario in the coming months for representative democracy. The combined disruptive nature of social media and a global pandemic is creating a pressure point that should lead policymakers to fear for the future of democratic institutions. In the same way there is an acknowledgement of the risk of this contagion to our way of life in the short-run, […]

Featured Scholars

Research Scientist at Facebook Core Data Science
Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University
University of Kansas
University of Texas-Austin: School of Journalism, Assistant Professor UT Center for Media Engagement, Program Director