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 Review

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

PARIS—The nation that gave us Louis Pasteur—whose scientific discoveries paved the way for human vaccination—has become a global hotspot for anti-vaxxer conspiracies and scientific distrust that experts say could allow COVID-19 to remain in France for years to come. Almost half the country said in a recent poll it will shun the coronavirus vaccine, meaning […]

The insidious problem of online violence against women journalists is increasingly spilling offline, with potentially deadly consequences, a new global survey suggests. Twenty percent of women journalists and media workers who participated in the survey – run by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – […]

American society today feels more divided than ever, particularly along racial lines. In this project, the Center for Media Engagement asked Black Americans how news organizations could better cover their communities to help bridge the divide between them and the media. We found that: Journalists Aren’t Trusted Storytellers: Overall, our survey showed that Black Americans’ trust […]

Rachel Wightman reviews slides Oct. 18 before a Mill City Church online class about identifying disinformation. The church offered a class earlier in the year and recently began offering the class again for six weeks online. Finding facts and accurate information is part of Rachel Wightman’s job — it’s also part of her ministry. She […]

The cadets were angry, venting on an anonymous chat app widely used at the Virginia Military Institute. The target of their rage: Black cadets and alumni who publicly detailed in a Washington Post story the relentless racism they had encountered at the nation’s oldest state-supported military college. On Jodel — pronounced “Yodel” — the reaction from […]

Featured Scholars

Harvard Kennedy School, Technology and Social Change Research Project
Graduate Student, University of British Columbia
Colorado State University
Presidential Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania