(30/03/2022) CfP – Book chapter : Mapping (in)nocent lies in the digital information sphere: Causes and consequences

In 2016, fake news, as a term that is not enough to define misleading information that users face particularly in the social media environment, has become a global phenomenon via its dramatic expansion and the emerging discussions on the post-truth. Since 2016, many studies have been made to determine the problem in different manners and fight against the spread of information that may harm society. Despite all the efforts to find out who produces and spreads false information, why and how, and despite recent progress in detecting misleading information, because of the complexity of the issue, there is still a long way to go.

In recent years the digital divide has caused an uneven distribution of information and it has created digital inequalities. Especially during the pandemic, while people who have minimum access to “Information and Communication Technologies” (ICTs), have struggled to adapt to this new life which is mostly based on wires, people who have access but don’t have digital media literacy skills to detect false information, struggled to find the truth on the net because of the huge information pollution. Particularly, within the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, since 2020, many people (re)shared information about conspiracy theories about vaccines and their benefits or harms. Especially in transition countries vulnerable groups such as refugees, migrants were claimed to be potential Covid-19 carriers, and sometimes those rumors were utilized as an excuse and shaped states’ politics like illegal pushbacks of refugees. Additionally, in order to detect false information some countries adapted strict social and digital media regulations which raised concerns about freedom of expression. As it can be observed, the ways and causes of the spread of false information in the digital sphere seem to be “innocent lies”, but these can have harmful societal effects nationally and internationally. In this regard, it becomes crucial to map out these “nocent lies” within the complex socio-political and socio-economic background. In this edited book, we would like to focus on how the spread of misleading information in the digital sphere and as a result this digital information sphere full of digital threats affects people all around the world.

From studies on the post-truth discussions to populism, and any form of information disorder, many researches have been done before. Some academics focused on the source of false/misleading information such as troll armies, utilization of bot accounts, fake accounts, etc. while others concentrated on state regulations developed to control information flow, which may harm pluralism and democracy. Some others examined the policies of social platforms which tend to promote dramatic, sensational, and emotional content since algorithms of those platforms are profit-oriented and optimize the time that the users spend in the system, etc.

This edited book aims to cover different aspects of the matter within an interdisciplinary framework discussed in any field of social sciences  and other disciplines. In this regard, we would like to share a global call and ask for abstracts through a peer-review process. These are the selected topics include but are not limited to:

• Digital divide and digital inequalities
• The policy of digital platforms against the struggle with the spread of ‘fake news’
• Computational propaganda and algorithmic bias
• Studies on biased/racist social media algorithms
• Social media regulations of states on tackling with disinformation, misinformation, and fake news
• Social lynching caused by misleading/false information
• Discrimination, hate speech, racism through ‘fake news’ namely misinformation and disinformation
• Misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories and/or any form of an information disorder which affect society’s reception on political, cultural, and social agenda
• False information and conspiracy theories which have been harming public health during the pandemic
• Studies on (digital) media literacy related to develop a better understanding on the fight against ‘fake news’
• How the spread of false content in the digital sphere harms vulnerable, underrepresented groups (such as LGBTIQQ+, minorities, immigrants, refugees, other disadvantaged groups who has limited access to education, health, work, etc.)
• Critical studies on the discrimination of certain group of people because of the circulation of false information about their group identity
• Studies on the spread of hatred discourses  on social media against vulnerable groups through  the circulation of false information
• Studies on the false information started to spread on social media and covered by traditional media
• Studies on the interchanging roles between new and traditional media about false content
• Studies on user experience and consumer behavior which may affect information sphere
• Digital threats such as trolls, bots, AI  news generators, etc. which may harm the information sphere

Important Notice: Authors are free to suggest related subjects in accordance with the call for paper. Abstracts (min 300, max 500 words) should be sent to<> by 30 March 2022. In April 2022, authors of accepted abstracts will be informed. They are expected to send their final manuscript by the end of July. The manuscripts should be prepared according to the guidelines of Taylor and Francis as we are in the pre-contract process with the publisher ( <>).
No payment from the authors will be required.