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DATALAB researchers publish new study on digital false information in New Media & Society

Learn more about digital false information in a new review article from DATALAB researchers

In a new paper published in the academic journal New Media & Society, junior researcher Petra de Place Bak at Aarhus University’s DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research alongside postdoc Jessica Gabriele Walter and the director of DATALAB Anja Bechmann conduct a literature review of papers addressing digital false information at scale in the EU in the period 2015-2021 and suggest future directions for research on false information in the EU.

Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Metanalyses (PRISMA) guidelines (Page et al., 2021), Bak, Walter, and Bechmann (2022) find that there currently is a research gap in cross-platform studies and that current research papers on digital false information primarily focus on characterisation, detection, and health. Furthermore, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany are found to be the primary countries of interest in papers on disinformation in the EU though a large portion of the reviewed papers were conducted in cross-country collaborations.

In the study, Bak, Walter, and Bechmann (2022) review papers written in English focusing on one or more EU member states (including the United Kingdom) as well as non-country-specific papers written by academics affiliated with EU-based research organisations and institutions. This is to ensure that the papers are EU relevant, to indicate geographical research gaps in research on false information in the EU, and to enable wide scholarly engagement. Additionally, the literature review includes papers on subjects related to disinformation such as conspiracy, misinformation, and information disorders, and, importantly, the review also includes papers on misinformation regarding both the Ukraine crisis and Brexit referendum campaign due to the chosen period. Read the entire literature review here.