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

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election saw an unprecedented number of false claims alleging election fraud and arguing that Donald Trump was the actual winner of the election. Here we report a survey exploring belief in these false claims that was conducted three days after Biden was declared the winner. We find that a majority of […]

For some completely unknowable reason, a lot of people are interested these days in why Americans sometimes get the most damn-fool ideas in their heads about politics. What leads people to believe fantastical claims of imaginary voter fraud, say, or that the Democratic Party is run by a league of Satanic cannibal pedophiles? There’s plenty […]

The Google News Initiative announced it will give $3 million to news and fact-checking organizations in an effort to combat misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine. The tech giant previously awarded fact-checking projects $6.5 million in April and $1.5 million in December, so Tuesday’s announcement brings the grand total flowing from their well-stocked coffers to organizations […]

On Friday, Reddit joined this week’s response to violent online rhetoric as spearheaded by President Donald Trump and removed its “r/donaldtrump” community, the site’s largest existing community dedicated specifically to Trump. Visiting any of that community’s pages now leads to a simple message pointing to Reddit’s rules about “inciting violence,” which starts by saying, “Do […]

The principle that “anyone can edit” Wikipedia has been foundational to the massive success of the nearly entirely volunteer-driven encyclopedia. With its first edit on January 15, 2001, the English Wikipedia website has averaged around 300 million pageviews per day over the past two years as people use the site to research everything from political […]

Featured Scholars

Dartmouth College
Colorado State University
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas-Austin: School of Journalism, Assistant Professor UT Center for Media Engagement, Program Director