IAMCR 2019 Pre-conference

Disinformation and political processes: media strategies and audience attitudes

Valencia, July 5, 2019

The IAMCR 2019 pre-conference Disinformation and political processes: media strategies and audience attitudes aims to reflect on the concept of misinformation and its multiple dimensions, as well as the strategies and practices developed around them, particularly those linked to political contexts and electoral processes.

The Oxford Dictionary declared post-truth word of the year in 2016, highlighting a historical and political moment in which disinformation strategies, fake news and lies are exponentially spread through social networks: facilitating, among others, Trump’s rise to power and having an impact also in Brexit debates (Jankowski, 2018). Since then, the role of manipulative messages has increased (Baudrillard, 1981; Wardle, 2017) – rising concern about their effects in political decisions, particularly in times of crisis (Spence, Lachlan , Edwards, & Edwards, 2016).

The potential role of social networks in disseminating misinformation (Woolley & Howard, 2016) grows in importance if we take into account that they have become the main source of information (Shearer & Gottfried, 2017), especially during electoral processes (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017). Considering that misinformation takes advantage of the increasing polarization of public opinion (Lewandowsky, Ecker & Cook, 2017; Horta et al,. 2017), its pernicious effects on decision-making and political debate demand a greater knowledge of the motivations behind the dissemination of misinformation (Flynn, Nyhan & Reifler, 2017).

Topics of interest for the conference may be related, but not limited, to the following:

  • Genealogy of post-truth and its different expressions: misinformation, disinformation, manipulation, fake-news, conspiracy theories, rumors, memes …
  • Origins and historical evolution of misinformation.
  • Fact-checking and digital platforms for verifying public discourse: Experiences and results.
  • Effects of disinformation on democratic stability
  • Polarization and success of misinformation: perception and influence.
  • Reception studies of fake-news
  • Active audiences and the fight against the spread of false news: counter-narratives and different civic society initiatives.
  • Bots and dissemination of fake news: who is behind the massive dissemination of false or manipulative messages?
  • Algorithmic transparency: The role of platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter in the control of false news.
  • Regulation and self-control: viability of regulation
  • News transparency and fact-checkers in the newsrooms.
  • Reputation of the sources: Value assignment and social credibility.
  • Misinformation and human rights
  • Media literacy and misinformation
  • Methods for the empirical approach to disinformation
  • Trends, styles, and narratives of fake news.
  • Dynamics of dissemination
  • Clickbait and other misinformation strategies


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