Wedge Issues

Some disinformation is obviously political, such as that targeting opposing parties. But other disinformation campaigns attempt to take political advantage of other rifts in societies, such as those rooted in ethnicity, religion, social class, and other markers of identity. This literature explores case studies on those wedge issues, including climate change, U.S. race tensions, and the anti-vaccine movement. 

Live Research Reviews

The pandemic moment has unleashed contagions of stigmatization and health misinformation, compounding the adverse health and socioeconomic effects of Covid-19 on marginalized communities. In this Live Research Review, Jonathan Corpus Ong discusses emerging findings on racially targeted disinformation and opportunistic legislation.

Vaccine refusal poses a major public health risk, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though vaccines are safe and effective, there have been undercurrents of distrust for decades. However, the affordances of interactive media have allowed hesitant parents to encounter misinformation, and producers of anti-vaccine disinformation to reach new audiences.

Teaching & Learning

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

Latest News on Wedge Issues

Not long after Russia steamrolled into South Ossetia in 2008, effectively annexing the territory of its southern neighbor, a group of Georgians banded together to set up a new Russian-language television station, a voice independent of the Kremlin: Kanal PIK. With the help of Georgia’s public broadcaster, they signed a five-year deal with French satellite operator […]

Brazilians know all about fake news. Digital hucksters have attacked the integrity of Brazil’s electronic voting system, baselessly accused adversaries of “teaching” homosexuality in the classroom and promoted faith-based covid-19 treatments, all with a nod and a wink from the presidential palace. Now the social media mobs, with the blessings of Brazil’s “cabinet of hate,” are trolling the world’s largest tropical […]

In June 2021, Alita, a trans woman living in Saudi Arabia, saw a hashtag trending on Twitter that translated roughly to “a space for hatred of religion.” In a Twitter Spaces audio room days earlier, Alita, who asked Rest of World to use her screen name for her safety, had spoken frankly about atheism and […]

Within days of Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, several social media companies took steps to reduce the circulation of Russian state-backed media and anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Meta (formerly Facebook), for example, said it took down about 40 accounts, part of a larger network that had already spread across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, and Russian social […]

This is the end of the first week after Twitter accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout offer, and one of the strangest tech transactions ever just keeps adding new twists. A detailed report from The Wall Street Journal has peeled back a few layers on the process that began with Musk accumulating Twitter stock back in January and […]

Featured Scholars

University of North Carolina
Harvard Kennedy School, Technology and Social Change Research Project
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Graduate Student, University of British Columbia