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

Five University of Notre Dame professors who specialize in different areas of democracy studies recently signed a strong statement of concern issued by the think tank New America warning of the serious threats to democracy in the U.S. Notre Dame is a longtime leader in research on democratization in comparative perspective through a number of […]

Omar Neal had every reason to be skeptical. Here in Tuskegee, Alabama, where roadways are dotted with signs that read “Vaccinate Me. Stop the Spread”, the history of racist medical abuse weighs heavily. For four decades, between 1932 and 1972, the US government sponsored a biomedical study coercing 600 Black men, all sharecroppers, into a […]

Advocates of the Senate filibuster can be proud of one thing. They have successfully carried out an extraordinarily effective propaganda campaign. They have convinced much of the country — and, more importantly, many members of the Senate itself — to believe in a completely made-up version of American history. The imaginary history has been repeated […]

In January 1925, experienced cave explorer Floyd Collins became trapped 55ft (16.7m) underground in Kentucky. William Miller, a reporter from the local Louisville Courier-Journal, was one of the first journalists on the scene, and his coverage of the rescue effort quickly transformed a rural tragedy into a nationwide media sensation. Taking advantage of his small […]

The source of the coronavirus that has left more than 3 million people dead around the world remains a mystery. But in recent months the idea that it emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) — once dismissed as a ridiculous conspiracy theory — has gained new credence. How and why did this happen? For one, efforts […]

Featured Scholars

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