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.
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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