Coro­na and dis­in­for­ma­tion

iRights.Lab presents „Forschungsmonitor Informationsintermediäre Spezial“

What is behind the numerous conspiracy theories circulated during Covid-19 and what are their intentions? The sixth issue of the „Forschungsmonitor Informationsintermediäre“ is dedicated to the latest research on the interrelation of available information and the resulting opinions during the corona pandemic.

Incor­rect and mis­lead­ing infor­ma­tion, which often leads to or is based on con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, is a defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of the infor­ma­tion envi­ron­ment in the coro­na cri­sis. They will be dis­sem­i­nat­ed world­wide, espe­cial­ly through inter­me­di­ary appli­ca­tions such as social net­works and video plat­forms. There they usu­al­ly spread faster than they can be encoun­tered.

In terms of con­tent, the main issue is the diverse and in part mis­lead­ing and false infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed by the gov­ern­ments of some states, such as Rus­sia, China or Syria. But also indi­vid­ual politi­cians use dis­in­for­ma­tion and use forms of hate speech with some­times racist nar­ra­tives. These play down or stir up fears by cre­at­ing and polar­iz­ing an image of the enemy, for exam­ple, instead of offer­ing a basis for a reflect­ed for­ma­tion of opin­ion through infor­ma­tion. The recur­ring scat­ter­ing of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries leads to a con­sump­tion of infor­ma­tion. It is used to strength­en cer­tain ide­olo­gies.

The spe­cial issue of the „Forschungsmon­i­tor“ sum­ma­rizes the sci­en­tif­ic per­spec­tives and find­ings on the topic of COVID-19. It exam­ines what infor­ma­tion is avail­able in Ger­many and other coun­tries, how it is com­mu­ni­cat­ed and dis­sem­i­nat­ed, and how it can affect indi­vid­ual and pub­lic opin­ion for­ma­tion. In ten insights our authoress Jaana Mueller Brehm sum­ma­rizes the cur­rent research and derives from it first mea­sures, in order to work against the pur­pose­ful dis­in­for­ma­tion.

You find the entire expen­di­ture of the „Forschungsmon­i­tor“ here to down­load. All fur­ther expen­di­tures as well as more infor­ma­tion to „Forschungsmon­i­tor“ you can find here.

On behalf of the „Lan­desanstalt für Medi­en NRW“, the think tank iRights.Lab reg­u­lar­ly pro­duces a „Forschungsmon­i­tor“ on the topic of infor­ma­tion inter­me­di­aries. In the dig­i­tal space, infor­ma­tion inter­me­di­aries are placed between the recip­i­ent and the infor­ma­tion. They ful­fill a medi­at­ing func­tion: By cre­at­ing per­son­al­ized offers for users that are not vis­i­ble to the gen­er­al pub­lic, algo­rith­mic sys­tems curate the media real­i­ty online.

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