Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online – Overview

Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online.

The quick summary from the webpage:

“the spread of false or misleading information is having real and negative effects on the public consumption of news.”

  • Internet subcultures take advantage of the current media ecosystem to manipulate news frames, set agendas, and propagate ideas.
  • Far-right groups develop techniques of “attention hacking” to increase the visibility of their ideas through the strategic use of social media, memes, and bots—as well as by targeting journalists, bloggers, and influencers to help spread content.
  • The media’s dependence on social media, analytics and metrics, sensationalism, novelty over newsworthiness, and clickbait makes them vulnerable to such media manipulation.
  • While trolls, white nationalists, Men’s Rights Activists, gamergaters, the “alt-right,” and conspiracy theorists may diverge deeply in their beliefs, they share tactics and converge on common issues.
  • The far-right exploits young men’s rebellion and dislike of “political correctness” to spread white supremacist thought, Islamophobia, and misogyny through irony and knowledge of internet culture.
  • Media manipulation may contribute to decreased trust of mainstream media, increased misinformation, and further radicalization.

The full report, Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online by Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis.

A useful report but know up front that its concern is very much agenda driven. The following terms occur in the text, alt-right (89), racists (44), white supremacists (30), without treatment of similar groups but of different agendas.

I think the aforementioned groups are loathsome but when treating media manipulation/disinformation, a broader sampling would be more instructive.

There are extensive footnotes and a great bibliography if you are interested in reading further.

As an overview of the issues of media manipulation/disinformation, I don’t think I have seen a better one.

Suggestions of more detailed case study collections?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.