Just in time for the European Elections, the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (www.bpb.de) published a new dossier about digital desinformation.
Lena Frischlich contributed an article (in German) about the role of critical media literacy in this context.
In the article, she argues that four components are needed for democratic resilience in times of online desinformation: Awareness for the problem of polluted information, reflection of own media usage behaviours, and empowerment of media users critically testing information they encounter in online-environments.
Beyond these more traditional dimensions of critical media literacy, she argues, there is an urgent need for restoring and protecting trust in communication from journalists, scientists, and politicians.
The full article (in German) can be found here.
Today, the annual meeting of the German Commmunication Association (DGPUK) kicks off at the University of Münster with a packed programm full of cutting-edge communication research on topics such as integration, desinformation, journalism today etc.
Partially together with colleagues from the PropStop project the brand new DemoRESILdigital team will:
- give insights into risk factors for the exposure to and victimization by hatespeech: Lena Frischlich, Svenja Boberg, Tim Schatto-Eckrodt, Florian Wintterlin,& Thorsten Quandt: On the role of person characteristics and media usage patterns for the confrontation with hate speech and personal victimization in the net. (own translation)
- discuss the thematic similarity of articles and user-comments in journalistic online media: Tim Schatto-Eckrodt, Svenja Boberg, Lena Frischlich, Florian Wintterlin,& Thorsten Quandt: Title versus topic: Thematic similarities of journalistic articles and associated user-comments (own translation)
- In addition, first insights into the German partisan pseudo-press – alternative media that mimic the appearance of journalistic outlets but do not adhere to norms of neutral and fact-oriented reporting – will be discussed: Felix Brinkschulte, Johanna Klapproth, and Lena Frischlich:“When you value the truth”: Integration of mainstream media and alternative pseudo-press offerings as sources of right-wing populist media makers (own translation).
We welcome Tim Schatto-Eckrodt as new colleague in our team. From now on he works as a research assistant in the junior research group DemoRESILdigital.
On 22 February 2019, Dr. Lena Frischlich is invited to the symposium “re:claim public discourse!” in Hamburg organized by the Rudolf Augstein Foundation. At the conference, an expert audience with representatives of liberal democracy, consisting of journalists, academics, and NGO activists, will discuss how to deal with right-wing populist media strategies in the upcoming European elections in May 2019. The discussion will focus on what the media must pay attention to in the campaigns leading up to the European elections and what responsible journalism looks like. Dr. Lena Frischlich will present visions for journalism as a pillar of democratic resilience. The program and further information of the symposium can be read here.
The DemoRESILdigital Team was a guest at the Kardinal-von-Galen-Gymnasium in Hilrup. During a study day Dr. Lena Frischlich, Lena Adam and Felix Brinkschulte together with Dr. Christian Grimme, Dr. Friederike Hendricks, Dr. Katherine Engelke and Laura Badura were available to the students as experts on the topic “The new power of digital media”. In six different workshops on topics such as fake news, social bots, hate speech and extremist propaganda, the students learned how to deal with manipulative content in digital media. In a concluding panel discussion, the topic was also examined from a socio-political and ethical point of view by discussing the opportunities and risks of digital media and pointing out consequences, for example for journalistic work or the responsibility of each individual. A newspaper article about the study day can be read here.
On the occasion of the “Safe Internet Day 2019”, Dr. Lena Frischlich was interviewed by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on the subject of hate in user comments. In addition to the classification of different forms of hate and possible reasons why hateful comments are published, the focus was on the handling of hate in user comments. In particular, the effectiveness of countermeasures such as counter speech or the implementation of an obligation to use clear names in social networks was discussed. The full article can be read here.
Facebook and Instagram are opening up access to CrowdTangle to academics and the research community. We are pleased to anounce that DemoRESILdigital has been selected for academic access to public data on Facebook and Instagram by CrowdTangle within Facebook’s transparency initiative.
We are pleased that three of our submissions will be presented at the 69th Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference in Washington D.C.:
- Brinkschulte, F., Becker, M., Frischlich, L. (2019): “Experimental Evidence Concerning the Effects of Disinformation on the Democratic Process”.
- Frischlich, L., Wintterlin, F., Schatto-Eckrodt, T., Boberg, S., Adam, L. (2019): “Who is Affected by the Disinformation Order? Predicting the Exposure to Distorted Information Prior to the Parliamentary Election in Germany”.
- Wintterlin, F., Frischlich, L., Boberg, S., Schatto-Eckrodt, T., Reer, F., Quandt, T. (2019): “Corrective Actions in the Information Disorder. Presumed Influence and the Countering of Distorted Information”.
For a radio feature Felix Brinkschulte was a guest at the radio station Bayrischer Rundfunk. In an interview with Beate Meierfrankenfeld, he talked about rumours, misinformation and disinformation in the online world. In addition to the distinction between rumour and defamation, the discussion focus on how such challenges can be counteracted. The podcast can be downloaded here.
Together with Svenja Boberg and Thorsten Quandt, Dr. Lena Frischlich published the paper “Comment Sections as Targets of Dark Participation? Journalists’ Evaluation and Moderation of Deviant User Comments” in the journal “Journalism Studies”. User comments, as the most prominent form of participation in online journalism, offer multiple options for so-called dark participation, comments that transgress norms of politeness or honesty with partially sinister motives. The study focuses on how media actors perceive this challenge and how they react to it, especially with regard to strategic manipulation attempts. Based on a series of guided interviews (N = 25), the researchers examined the experiences of community managers with dark participation in German newspaper sites. The qualitative analysis of the content of the interviews identified four types of comment section managers, ranging from unconcerned gatekeepers to relaxed gate-watchers, alarmed guards, and struggling fighters.
The paper can be downloaded here.