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

If you’re a reporter, getting your queries right really matters. In 2015, Daniel Victor of The New York Times was searching for witnesses to an incident on a plane involving a female passenger and a Hasidic Jewish man who didn’t feel comfortable sitting next to her. Victor found that querying for “hasidic” and “flight” on […]

House lawmakers on Wednesday will examine the role misinformation on cable news played in the Jan. 6 insurrection in a hearing that will test the boundaries between congressional oversight, regulation and issues of censorship. Representatives of Fox News have already complained about the premise, saying it “sets a terrible precedent” when members of Congress “highlight […]

Flora Pérez, a produce vendor in Queens, has been trying for weeks to get a vaccine appointment for her 82-year-old father. “It’s really, really hard — none are available,” Ms. Pérez, 58, said as she wrapped tomatillos in plastic bags at her stand in the Corona neighborhood. She does not have time to spend hours […]

The U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been fractious. Many citizens, spurred on by political leaders and even some health providers, have not heeded science-based recommendations from our nation’s infectious-disease experts to wear masks, adhere to physical distancing and shelter in place. Rather than coming together as a nation to slow the spread of […]

The University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public on Tuesday announced a new award program that will recognize an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions, achievements, or bodies of work that significantly resist strategic misinformation, promote an informed society, and strengthen democratic discourse. The CIP Award for Excellence, which will highlight those […]

Featured Scholars

Harvard Law School, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
University of Texas-Austin: School of Journalism, Assistant Professor UT Center for Media Engagement, Program Director
University of Kansas
Associate Professor, Sociology, Tufts University