Jen Schradie on a Bottom Up Approach to Disinformation Research

03 Feb, 2023

Jen Schradie on a Bottom Up Approach to Disinformation Research

Jen Schradie is a sociologist and Assistant Professor at the Observatoire sociologique du changement at Sciences Po in Paris and a BCNM alum! Her work on digital democracy has been featured on CNN and the BBC and in the New Yorker, Washington Post, Newsweek, WIRED, Time, Vox, and Buzzfeed, among others media. She was awarded the Public Sociology Alumni Prize at the University of California, Berkeley, and has directed six documentary films.

In the article published by the Center for Information, Technology, & Public Life (CITAP), Jen focuses on the central problem that plagues research on disinformation diffusion, as it has in previous domains—a hyper-focus on data that’s flashy, shiny, and digitally visible. Jen argues that online disinformation is not the center of politics or even its most central issue, but rather is part of a broad ecosystem of information distribution.

Class, Community, and Context are the 3 C’s that need to be tackled in the next generation of disinformation research. Jen proposes that we need a much more nuanced look at social class than the trope that believers of disinformation are just uneducated. Community plays a major role in the spread of misinformation and By studying the role of local community leaders and local institutions, such as unions and churches, we can better see what the key levers and dams are in the pipelines of news and information. Finally, geographic context matters, A deep dive into other countries and a global comparison across them would elucidate how disinformation flows vary across contexts.

To read the full paper, Click Here!