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

In September 2020, Facebook (which owns Instagram) committed to “tackling climate misinformation” and announced it would apply warning labels to both Facebook and Instagram posts containing climate change misinformation. Despite Facebook’s announcement, a First Draft analysis identified thousands of Instagram posts associated with the hashtags #climatehoax, #globalwarminghoax, #globalwarmingisahoax, #carbonkleptomania, #globalcooling, #climatechangehoax, #globalwarmingisfake, #noclimateemergency and #climatescam […]

In the midst of the heated U.S. presidential race last summer, with hypercharged scrutiny of partisan propaganda on social media, Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg received a letterfrom a group of U.S. senators led by Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren that had nothing to do with elections. They were angry about a year-old piece of […]

To identify popular climate change misinformation circulating online, First Draft analyzed climate change-related conversations over the past year on the fringe platforms 4chan and 8kun. We found over 2,000 posts on 4chan falsely claiming “climate change is a scam.” A further 250 similar posts were identified on 8kun, the smaller, more radical board that took […]

Riggleman stood virtually alone. It was Oct. 2, on the floor of the House of Representatives, and he rose as one of only two Republicans in the chamber to speak in favor of a resolution denouncing QAnon. Mr. Riggleman, a freshman congressman from Virginia, had his own personal experiences with fringe ideas, both as a […]

The workshop is based on a notion that democratic digital societies require a new form of citizenship, namely digital citizenship. We aim to expand the conventional notions of the term, often linked with proper and respectful behavior in digital environments as well as having an active role in those environments. Considering our contemporary, highly digitalized […]

Featured Scholars

Harvard Kennedy School, Technology and Social Change Research Project
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Sociology (by courtesy), University of Texas at Austin
Graduate Student, University of British Columbia
Presidential Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania