Online disinformation and cyber warfare are among the top 10 global risks, according to the World Economic Forum (2016). Disinformation is distinct from misinformation in being not only false, but false as part of a ‘purposeful effort to mislead, deceive, or confuse’. With greater penetration of information technology worldwide, disinformation spreads rapidly and is sometimes consumed as factual news with dramatic consequences. Digital disinformation is employed strategically by states and non-state actors across the world.
This project provides novel insights into what makes digital disinformation successful in propagating into news media, how professional trolls and nonhumans (bots) are implicated, and how receptive different countries and media platforms are to disinformation. The project findings provide much-needed insight on information wars, the quality of public debate and how to respond to digital disinformation in the 21st century.