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Stopping Fake News: The Work Practices of Peer-to-Peer Counter Propaganda

February 21, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

STOPPING FAKE NEWS: The Work Practices of Peer-to-Peer Counter Propaganda

Dr. Maria Haigh
Associate Professor
School of Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tuesday , February 21, 2017 at 1:00pm

DH Lab, 2nd Floor East, Golda Meir Library
2311 East Hartford Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211

The Ukrainian website StopFake.org has turned fact checking into a counter-propaganda weapon in the country’s conflict with Russia. Faced with a coordinated campaign in which paid social media trolls and Russian state media work together to propagate fake news, in a process we dub “peer-to-peer propaganda,” the StopFake team has combined the kind of online media monitoring described by Pablo Boczkowski with a mission inspired by Western fact checking sites. Their aim is to interrupt the spread of fake news stories by having rebuttals shared on social media. We document the history of this group, describe its work practices, and situate them within previous analyses of online news dissemination. This case illustrates that virtual Internet groups can, at least in the short term, undertake work that once required a centralized, well-financed team. StopFake is a test case for journalistic resistance to state-sponsored fake news campaigns which shows some promise in bringing attention to the problem via social media shares and international coverage in traditional media. The study is a collaborative work of Maria Haigh (UWM), Thomas Haigh (UWM), and Nadine Kozak (UWM) with StopFake journalists.

Sponsored by:
School of Information Studies
UWM Libraries Digital Humanities Lab
Social Studies of Information Research Group



February 21, 2017
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Digital Humanities Lab, UW-Milwaukee Libraries 2nd Floor
2311 E Hartford Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States
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