Digital false information at scale in the European Union: Current state of research in various disciplines, and future directions

Petra de Place Bak*, Jessica Gabriele Walter, Anja Bechmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Digital false information is a global problem and the European Union (EU) has taken profound actions to counter it. However, from an academic perspective the United States has attracted particular attention. This article aims at mapping the current state of academic inquiry into false information at scale in the EU across fields. Systematic filtering of academic contributions resulted in the identification of 93 papers. We found that Italy is the most frequently studied country, and the country of affiliation for most contributing authors. The fields that are best represented are computer science and information studies, followed by social science, communication, and media studies. Based on the review, we call for (1) a greater focus on cross-platform studies; (2) resampling of similar events, such as elections, to detect reoccurring patterns; and (3) longitudinal studies across events to detect similarities, for instance, in who spreads misinformation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media & Society
Volume25
Issue10
Pages (from-to)2800-2819
Number of pages20
ISSN1461-4448
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Conspiracy theory
  • European Union
  • detection
  • disinformation
  • fake news
  • information disorder
  • literature review
  • misinformation
  • social media

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