The Routledge Companion to Media Disinformation and Populism


Key concepts (Part I)Media misinformation and disinformation (Part II)The politics of misinformation and disinformation (Part III)Media and populism (Part IV)Responses to misinformation, disinformation and populism (Part V)Media, disinformation, and populism: problems and responsesMediaDis/misinformationPopulismIntersectionsMedia and populismPopulism, media, and disinformationResponsesReferencesI. Key conceptsWhat do we mean by populism?Searching for the right conceptConceptual strategiesWhat populism doesCreating enemiesPopulism’s pars pro toto dynamic and the leader as the embodiment of the true peoplePopulists challenging power, populists in power, and populist regimesDifferentiating populismsPopulism and the mediaConclusionReferencesMisinformation and disinformationIntroductionDefining the key termsContextualising the challenge of mis/disinformationSusceptibility to mis/disinformationPolitical and social psychological factorsTechnological factorsContextual factorsSolutions to the problem of mis/disinformationIdentifying mis/disinformationTackling tnis/disinformationConclusionBibliographyRethinking mediatisation: populism and the mediatisation of politicsThe médiatisation of politicsPopulist politicsPopulism and mediatisationContradictionsConclusion: rethinking médiatisationNoteReferencesMedia systems and misinformationMedia systemsMisinformationMisinformation and media systems: approaches and resourcesNon-governmental organisationsSupranational and intergovernmental organisationsAcademic researchFuture directions: integrating misinformation and media systemsActors and processesGovernanceConclusionsReferencesRewired propaganda: propaganda, misinformation, and populism in the digital ageIntroductionPropaganda and media modelsTrump: populism’s perfect stormRussia and digital disinformationRewired propagandaRewired propaganda in the digital ageThe relationship of propaganda to populismNoteReferencesHate propagandaHate speechDigital hateRegulatory dilemmasGaps and future directionsReferencesFilter bubbles and digital echo chambersAre filter bubbles and echo chambers two names for the same phenomenon?The underlying mechanismEmpirical inquiry into filter bubbles and echo chambersEcho chambersFilter bubblesBubbles at the fringesConclusion and future directionsTowards a spiral of noiseNew vulnerabilitiesA broader conception of diversityAcknowledgmentNoteReferencesDisputes over or against reality? Fine-graining the textures of post-truth politicsWhat if... ?Post-truth: what it is (and what it entails)Why this state of things?And what now?ReferencesFake newsDefining fake newsSituating fake newsWhat is fake?What is news?Impact of fake newsConclusionReferencesII. Media misinformation and disinformationThe evolution of computational propaganda: theories, debates, and innovation of the Russian modelAcknowledgementsIntroductionA historical overview of propagandaComputational propaganda: a global overviewConsequences of computational propagandaTheorising the diffusion of propaganda over social mediaThe progression of the Russian modelConclusionReferencesPolarisation and misinformationIntroductionLiterature reviewMedia-structural explanationsHigh choice, selectivity, and filteringRapid information sharing and network structuresCognitive and affective processesMotivated reasoningAffective polarisation and sortingAssessing the state of knowledgeConclusionNoteReferencesData journalism and misinformationIntroductionThe epistemology of data journalism amid challenges of misinformationWhat (data) journalists know and how they know itKnowledge claims associated with data journalismConcluding discussionReferencesMedia and the ‘alt-right’The alt-right’s predecessorsThe alt-right’s origin and early media useThe alt-right’s recent media useGaining mainstream media attentionThe alt-right and popular cultureSetbacks onlineConclusionReferences‘Listen to your gut’: how Fox News’s populist style changed the American public sphere and journalistic truth in the processFox populism versus MSNBC liberalismCultural populism and the morally ‘invested’ news styleCOVID-19 and the false hope of empirical deliveranceReferencesAlternative online political media: challenging or exacerbating populism and mis/disinformation?New phenomenon? Alternative online political media, populism, disinformationConceptualising alternative online political mediaDiscussing the evidence baseAlternative online political media and mis/disinformationAlternative media and populismConsiderations for future empirical researchConclusionNotesReferencesOnline harassment of journalists as a consequence of populism, mis/disinformation, and impunityPopulism, the delegitimisation of journalism, and online mis/ disinformation issuesOnline harassment of journalists: the impact and impunityAddressing disinformation and online harassment: a way forwardNotesReferencesLessons from an extraordinary year: four heuristics for studying mediated misinformation in 2020 and beyondThe minimal effects of misinformationThere’s no such thing as ‘online misinformation’Misinformation works by allusion, not reasonMisinformation is an index of political incentive structuresJust don’t call it an echo chamberNoteBibliographyRight-wing populism, visual disinformation, and Brexit: from the UKIP ‘Breaking Point’ poster to the aftermath of the London Westminster bridge attackIntroductionReviewing the existing literatureUKIP’s ‘Breaking Point’ poster, 2016Westminster Bridge attack, 2017ConclusionNotesReferencesIII. The politics of misinformation and disinformationMisogyny and the politics of misinformationMisogyny as core logic of misinformation campaignsMisogynistic accusations of misinformationMisogyny and misinformation: a long-standing relationshipNotesReferencesAnti-immigration disinformationIntroductionAnti-immigration actorsDigital platforms and disinformation tacticsReceptive audiencesConclusionNoteReferencesScience and the politics of misinformationContradicting the best available evidence: definitions and nomenclatureScience misinformation as a public problemWhy do individuals hold misperceptions about science?Individual ability and motivation to evaluate scienceSystemic factors that encourage misinformation and misperceptionsMisperception antidotesInoculation messagesCorrectionsShifting motivationsFramingInstitutional and techno-cognitive strategiesConclusionReferencesGovernment disinformation in war and conflictIntroductionDisinformation matters in war and conflictPropagandaFraming and strategic narrativesDiscourseThe novelty of today’s government disinformation during warNew directions for researchNoteReferencesMilitary disinformation: a bodyguard of liesDisinformation and propaganda‘This will not be another Vietnam’‘The fifth dimension of war’The digital battlefield‘Psy-oping the home team’NotesReferencesExtreme right and mis/disinformationKey concepts and a brief note on conceptual ambiguityExtreme rightInformation disordersA deeply mediatised extreme rightBroader context of globalisation, immigration, and trust in institutions‘It’s the information ecosystem, stupid’On fake news and propagandaOn memes and memetic warfareOn algorithms and (the Achilles heel of) platformsDirections for future researchNoteReferencesInformation disorder practices in/by contemporary RussiaIntroduction: the ‘Russian trolls’ and academic researchMedia in Russia after 2012: the structural impossibility of public debate and effervescence of RunetFragmentation of society and media‘Services to the Fatherland’: youth movements and attempts of state expansion onlineA plague on both your houses: the rise of political Runet in the posttruth ageTightening the screws in Runet regulationThe blurred meaning of independence: online media as ‘state projects’ and ‘foreign agents’Rutube: fun and mimicryTelegram: anonymity as a double-edged swordBy way of a conclusion: the web that failed (again)?ReferencesProtest, activism, and false informationFalse information in the history of social movement studiesFive theoretical lenses for false information and social movementsFalse information as a movement catalystFalse information as a strategy of social movement repressionState-based domestic repressionCorporate repressionCountermovementsFalse information as a weaponisation of free speechFalse information as a commodityMisinformation and journalistic norms in the coverage of protestConclusionReferencesConspiracy theories: misinformed publics or wittingly believing false information?IntroductionDefinitions: slippery concepts and rhetorical weaponsContents: from scapegoating an exotic Other to popular critiques of societal institutionsCirculations: how conspiracy theories exist and travel in today’s media ecosystemMotivations: paranoid militants, cultural dupes, or witting activists?People: suspicious minds or are we all conspiracy theorists now?Mitigations: debunking, or what else to do with conspiracy theories?Future research: exploring the affective and playful dimensions of conspiracy theoriesReferencesCorrupted infrastructures of meaning: post-truth identities onlineThe roots of post-truth identities: emotionality, cognitive biases, and changing media systemsEmotionalityCognitive biasesChanging media systemsAnti-vaxxersFlat-EarthersIncelsConclusionNotesReferencesConsumption of misinformation and disinformationThe dual consumption of misinformation and disinformationActual consumption of misinformation and disinformationPerceived consumption of misinformation and disinformationConclusionNoteReferencesIV. Media and populismPopulism in Africa: personalistic leaders and the illusion of representationIntroductionSome singularities of populism in AfricaSome African cases of populismIdi Amin in UgandaSamora Machel in MozambiqueRobert Mugabe in ZimbabweJulius Malema in South AfricaPopulism and representation in AfricaReferencesPopulism and misinformation from the American Revolution to the twenty-first-century United StatesIntroduction‘Jealousies of power’ in the founding of the republicDevelopments in the nineteenth centuryPopulist firebrands in the 1930sPopulism’s rightward turn in the post-war eraThe long 1960s and American populismGrowing anti-governmentalismLessons from American populist historyPopulism and misinformation in the twenty-first-century United StatesDemocratic crisis and polarisationThe conservative media systemMisinformation in the social sharing systemConclusionReferencesPopulism, media, and misinformation in Latin AmericaMedia and populism at the turn of centuryThe ‘social media-populism nexus’‘Fake news’, populism, and religionStudying fake news in Latin AmericaMisinformation and messianic populism in Latin AmericaConcluding remarksAcknowledgementNotesReferencesPerceived mis- and disinformation in a post-factual information setting: A conceptualisation and evidence from ten European countriesBeyond distrust and hostility: perceived mis- and disinformationThe populist nature of perceived mis- and disinformationIllustrating perceptions of mis- and disinformationDiscussionNoteReferencesThe role of social media in the rise of right-wing populism in FinlandIntroductionTransforming media ecology and the Finnish case of right-wing populismEntangled ideologies of Islamophobia and misogynyConclusionsReferencesSocial media manipulation in Turkey: Actors, tactics, targetsTurkey’s news media and online public sphereSocial media manipulationAK trolls and lynch mobsPro-government messagingInformation operations in the international arenaBosphorus GlobalAnonymous groupsNationalist hacker groupsConclusionNotesReferencesPopulist rhetoric and media misinformation in the 2016 UK Brexit referendumThe background to BrexitThe NHS, £350 million, and the battle busBreaking point and TurkeyConclusionNotesReferencesMedia policy failures and the emergence of right-wing populismIntroduction: the structural conditions of mediated populismMedia policy failuresFailure to tackle concentrated ownershipFailure to regulate tech companiesFailure to safeguard an effective fourth estateFailure to nurture independent public service mediaConclusion: towards a new policy paradigmReferencesDisentangling polarisation and civic empowerment in the digital age: The role of filter bubbles and echo chambers in the rise of populismIntroductionConceptualising populismExplaining populist impulses in Europe and the United StatesPopulists, digital media, and echo chambersMethodological approachFindingsSupport for populismThe populistsPopulism, political engagement, and access to political informationConclusion: populism, empowerment, and political engagement?NotesReferencesV. Responses to misinformation, disinformation, and populismLegal and regulatory responses to misinformation and populismIntroductionNational definitionsPolicy approaches within EuropeGermanyFranceThe UKEU approachConclusionNotesReferencesGlobal responses to misinformation and populismIntroduction: regulators take aim at misinformationthe rise of a global threatHow states responded to misinformationHard regulationsSoft regulationsConclusion: evaluating state anti-misinformation actionsReferencesSingapore’s fake news law: Countering populists’ falsehoods and truth-makingIntroductionFrom populism to populism 2.0Social media and the rise of digital populismSingapore’s fake news law: countering populists’ falsehoods and truth-makingThe Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA)The controversies surrounding POFMASingapore’s authoritarian conundrums in using POFMAFrom repression to calibrated coercionHyper-responsiveness towards the public reactions of POFMADiscussion and conclusionNoteReferencesDebunking misinformationWhat does debunking misinformation do?Factual beliefAffective evaluationBehavioural intentionWhen is correction more and less effective?Attributes of misinformationAttributes of corrective informationWhy is correction ineffective? Cognitive and motivational processesWhat next? Future directionsSearch for theory-grounded explanationsUser engagement at the core of conceptual frameworkBeyond controlled experimentConclusionReferencesNews literacy and misinformationDefining news literacyNews literacy and misinformationNext stepsReferencesMedia and information literacies as a response to misinformation and populismThe problem: misinformation, disinformation, and malinformationMedia and information literacy responses to misinformationof the solution: critical media consumption through multiple literaciesInformation LiteracyCritical information literacyMedia literacyCultural literacy (cultural competence)Critical cultural literacyConcluding critical cultural thoughtsConclusion: going beyond academiaReferencesPeople-powered correction: Fixing misinformation on social mediaReviewing the misinformation problem and how to solve itObservational correctionHow is observational correction populist?Areas for future explorationConclusionReferencesCountering hate speechDefining hate speechCounterspeechAudiences, goals, and tacticsMessages and effectsChanging online normsConstructive approaches are more effectiveSelf-reflective and hypocrisy messaging are particularly effectiveSource credibility mattersFact-checking can moderate viewsConclusionReferencesConstructing digital counter-narratives as a response to disinformation and populismShifting narratives of mediated activismThe evolution of mediated counter-publicsFrictions and entanglementsNetworked publicsAffective labourDiscursive strategies and tactical interventionsConclusion: understanding populist media ecologiesNoteReferencesJournalistic responses to misinformationChanging journalistic practicesReporting misinformation and journalism in the UKChallenges in reporting misinformationConclusionReferencesResponses to mis/disinformation: Practitioner experiences and approaches in low income settingsIntroductionPrinciples and foundationsStrategiesRational-based responsesEmotion-based responsesWhen and how to respondThe need for fresh approaches to learningNotesReferencesThe effect of corrections and corrected misinformationIntroductionWhen are corrections successful at debunking misinformation?Individual-level characteristicsIdentity and motivated reasoningCognitive reflection and curiosityNews literacyCharacteristics of the correctionSourceContextFormatWordingThe correction worked - what next?The effect of misinformation on attitudes can persistUnintended consequences of the media’s focus on correctionsConclusionReferencesBuilding connective democracy: interdisciplinary solutions to the problem of polarisationPolarisation and its consequencesSolutions to the problem of polarisationEncouraging intergroup contactCorrecting misperceptionsPrinting superordinate identitiesPossible solutions that need refinementScalable solutionsConclusionReferences
 
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