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Special Section on Comparative Approaches to Disinformation: Call for Papers

International Journal of Communication

Guest Editors: Hyunjin Seo, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Kansas,; Robert Faris, Research Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University,    

From misleading news stories around the 2018 Brazil elections to a lynching fueled by false social media messages in India in 2019, the deluge of digital disinformation is affecting communications in many countries around the world. The situation is particularly concerning in emerging democracies, where the availability and affordability of digital communication technologies has facilitated the production and distribution of false and misleading digital content among populations with low levels of media and digital literacy. At the same time, we are witnessing false narratives spreading across countries and across platforms often orchestrated by networks of operatives coordinating attacks internationally.

While there are an increasing number of academic papers on the topic of disinformation, little attention has been paid to the examination of disinformation from comparative and international perspectives. The Special Section on Comparative Approaches to Disinformation invites conceptual or data-informed papers on international and global perspectives on the prevalence, impact, and diffusion of disinformation in different countries. We invite submissions that make new theoretical or empirical contributions to existing bodies of knowledge in this area. A manuscript could focus on one country or offer comparative perspectives involving multiple countries. We welcome different theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches and encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

- How can we identify and empirically track disinformation or information disorder in general? 

- What are the key cultural, political, social, or technological characteristics of a country contributing to the generation and spread of disinformation/misinformation?

- What are major challenges or tensions in developing countermeasures (e.g., content moderation and freedom of speech) in the country(ies) and why?

- What are the similarities and differences between countries in terms of production (media manipulation tactics), spread, impact, and attitude towards disinformation? 

Interested authors should submit manuscripts (PDF file) of up to 8,900 words (including tables, references, etc.) following APA 6th edition directly to Hyunjin Seo ( and Robert Faris ( by February 1, 2020, for initial vetting. The expected publication date of the Special Section is spring 2021. If you have any questions, please email the guest editors.