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

All is not well: Many of the high-profile health workers originally joined Twitter for the same reasons journalists and other professionals do. Sure there’s nonsense aplenty on the site, but there are also pockets to talk policy, to hear about research, to meet colleagues from all over the country, to connect — long before the pandemic […]

In the wake of recent allegations against Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek, senators from both parties have introduced a new bill that would impose sweeping new regulations on online sites, platforms, and apps that host adult content. Though the bill is meant to prevent exploitation and trafficking, critics argue that the changes would create […]

Back in March, when the pall of the pandemic hung over the city, and long stretches of Broadway were as desolate as a dry creek bed, the New York Police Department began enforcing a mandate to observe social-distancing measures. Between March 17th and May 4th, the Times reported, the police made forty arrests for social-distancing […]

Digital platforms are transforming practices of political information production and circulation in local communities. We develop the theoretical concept of local political information infrastructure to draw attention to (1) the broadening array of actors who are producing political information in local communities, in addition to local news media, and (2) the role of network media […]

The widespread embrace of conspiracy and disinformation amounts to a “mass radicalization” of Americans, and increases the risk of right-wing violence, veteran security officials and terrorism researchers warn. At conferences, in op-eds and at agency meetings, domestic terrorism analysts are raising concern about the security implications of millions of conservatives buying into baseless right-wing claims. […]

Featured Scholars

University of North Carolina
Colorado State University
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin