Targeted Disinformation

Who gets targeted for disinformation, harassment, scams, or doxxing? What societal effects can we observe when that targeting is based on individual and group identity? Contemporary online harassment and other techniques of subjugation fit into historical patterns of oppression. This collection encompasses identity-based targeting, networked harassment, and other forms of online abuse. 

Live Research Review

Hate speech online is particularly disturbing for its commonness. This kind of speech is appropriated and shared by ordinary citizens, is used to support open confrontations between nations, and can be approved or encouraged by state governments. But what are the linkages between hate speech and disinformation?

Teaching & Learning

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

Latest News on Targeted Disinformation

In October 2018, just over a week before the presidential election that would cement Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to power, Brazil’s newspaper of record Folha de S.Paulo published an exposé on his campaign’s allegedly illegal use of WhatsApp to spread false news stories about his opponent Fernando Haddad. The author of the story, the award-winning journalist […]

One tweet claimed coronavirus numbers were intentionally inflated, adding, “It’s hard to know what to believe.” Another warned, “Don’t trust Dr. Fauci.” A Facebook comment argued that mail-in ballots “will lead to fraud for this election,” while an Instagram comment amplified the erroneous claim that 28 million ballots went missing in the past four elections. The messages have been […]

All elections feature claims and counterclaims by contending parties. The 2020 election seems to be an especially salient example, as conspiracy theories and a variety of misleading narratives, many of which can be debunked with professional fact-checking, are rampant. At Indiana University’s Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe), our team is tracking widely circulated narratives throughout […]

Investigations by news organizations, US intelligence agencies, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, and of course by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, all reached the same conclusion: The Russian government meddled in the 2016 presidential elections. Some observers have gone so far as to conclude that Russia’s machinations were essential to Trump’s victory. By taking advantage of social media’s tendency to aggregate and […]

Manipulated videos are rapidly becoming a fixture of the 2020 election. On Aug. 30, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) used Twitter to share a video that was misleadingly edited to distort Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s views on defunding the police. That same day, Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, tweeted a manipulated video […]

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Featured Scholars

Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institut für Ethnologie
Associate Professor, Sociology, Tufts University
MacEwan University