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

When a filmmaker asked medical historian Naomi Rogers to appear in a new documentary, the Yale professor didn’t blink. She had done these “talking head” interviews many times before. She assumed her comments would end up in a straightforward documentary that addressed some of the most pressing concerns of the pandemic, such as the legacy […]

Nigeria’s telecom companies had officially blocked Twitter, and the attorney general vowed to prosecute those who found a way to use it, but Editi Effiong kept posting. “Silence is the enemy,” he tweeted Sunday to his 139,000 followers. The marketing executive in the country’s commercial capital, Lagos, understood the risk. This was no anonymous protest, […]

Twitter disclosed on Monday that it blocked four accounts in India to comply with a new legal request from the Indian government. The American social network disclosed on Lumen Database, a Harvard University project, that it took action on four accounts — including those of hip-hop artist L-Fresh the Lion and singer and song-writer Jazzy B — […]

This workshop starts from the premise that the problem of online misinformation is a symptom, not a cause. While undeniably problematic, misinformation is the current cause célèbre of a larger class of pathological dynamics that have emerged in our evolving digital media ecosystems and cause harm at different systemic levels. These dynamics are exacerbated by […]

If you use such social media websites as Facebook and Twitter, you may have come across posts flagged with warnings about misinformation. So far, most misinformation – flagged and unflagged – has been aimed at the general public. Imagine the possibility of misinformation – information that is false or misleading – in scientific and technical […]

Featured Scholars

Associate Professor, Sociology, Tufts University
Research Scientist at Facebook Core Data Science
University of Zurich
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin