Together with Svenja Boberg, Tim Schatto-Eckrott and Thorsten Quandt, Lena Frischlich published the article “The moral gatekeeper? Moderation and deletion of user-generated content in a leading news forum” in the journal Media and Communication. The study examines user comments (including all incoming and rejected comments) of the largest newspaper forum in Germany (Spiegel Online) in terms of the moderation decision, the topic addressed, and the use of insulting language using automated content analysis. The analyses revealed that the deletion of user comments is a frequently used moderation strategy. Overall, more than one-third of comments studied were rejected. Further, users mostly engaged with political topics. The usage of swear words was not a reason to block a comment, except when offenses were used in connection with politically sensitive topics. Finally, the results are discussed with regard to the need for journalists to develop consistent and transparent moderation strategies.
We welcome Lena Adam as new colleague in our team. From now on she works as a research assistant in the junior research group DemoRESILdigital.
In October, Lena Frischlich was invited to present scientific insights into the interplay of disinformation, fear, and radicalization at the European Strategic Communications Network Thematic Event on “The Disinformation Challenge, a CVE strategic communications perspective”.
Between September 15th and 20th the German Association for Psychology (DGPS) met at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt (a.M.) to discuss state-of-the-art research in psychology. Since 2016, the DGPS hosts so-called hot-topic sessions, Keynotes and symposia in which pressing topics and current questions of the field are discussed. This year, DemoRESILdigital team member Lena Frischlich presented in two of these hot-topics tackling the core questions of the research group: Fake news and Populism and Radicalization. In the invited fake news symposium, she presented a study together with Felix Brinkschulte and Martin Becker addressing the experimental effects of distorted articles published in the right-wing alternative media. In the self-organized symposium on societal, social, and individual influences on radicalization, she presented data collected with the PropStop Team (Svenja Boberg, Tim Schatto-Eckrodt, Florian Winterrlin, & Thorsten Quandt) showing how distorted information, political emotions and societal trust interactively influence voting intentions.
In a few weeks, the article “Gefälschte Nachrichten, gefälschte Nutzer. Wie gefährlich sind Fake News und Social Bots?” written by Tim Schatto-Eckrodt, Svenja Boberg, Lena Frischlich and Thorsten Quandt will be published in the journal Politikum. As part of the issue “Smart Democracy” the article focuses the meaning of Fake News and Social Bots in the context of populism. Next to the definition of terms, the authors question also the spread and effectiveness of these current phenomena and discuss potential implications.
Felix Brinkschulte gave a lecture with the title “Disinformation in times of digital media” at the association “Bürgernetz” in Münster. He talked about Fake News as a current phenomenon and discussed definitions and particularly the functioning of political disinformation in times of digital media. In addition he exemplified potential risks, but also highlights opportunities for users in the digital world.
A new (German) bookchapter by Lena Frischlich discusses online-propaganda as multilevel phenomenon and highlights the need to stage the staging and effects of propaganda on the level of individuals, social groups and the digital society. The book can be downloaded here.
Frischlich (2018): Propaganda³. Einblicke in die Inszenierung und Wirkung von Online-Propaganda auf der Mikro-Meso-Makro Ebene. In K.Sach-Hornbach & B. Zywitz. Fake news, Hashtags, und Social Bots: Neue Methoden populistischer Propaganda.
Together with Prof. Dr. Gerd Vowe from Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, Prof. Dr. Christopher Neuberger from Ludwigs-Maximilian University Munich, and Dr. Cornelius Puschmann from Has Bredow Institute Hamburg, Dr. Lena Frischlich dicussed ethics in the digital society at the “working group digital ethics” of the state chancellery Nordrhein-Westphalia at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum. Her talk focussed on “political manipulative communication as challenge for research and practice”.
Dr. Helen Landmann from the Department of Community Psychology from the FernUniversität in Hagen visited the DemoRESILTeam on May 17th. In the context of a joint colloquium together with the research field of online communication (Prof. Dr. Thorsten Quandt) she gave a guest lecture with the title “Can understanding emotions help to enhance a welcoming culture and to reduce radicalization?”.
Lena Frischlich and Felix Brinkschulte will participate in the 4th International Summer School, organized by the Department of Communication at the University of Münster in collaboration with Michigan State University (USA) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (USA). The summer school will take place from May 29th to June 3rd 2018 in Münster. Lena Frischlich will present a talk about “Propaganda3: Effects of online-propaganda on individuals, groups and the digital society” on Thursday, May 31st, 11.45 – 12.45. Felix Brinkschulte will present the topic “Political Pseudo-Press: political disinformation disguised as journalistic outlets” in a poster session.