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Doktor Using Digital-Tablette

Understanding disinformation behaviour

During the coronavirus pandemic we have seen a significant increase in the spread of health information from the scientific field. It is assumed that the scientific appearance facilitates the spread of disinformation and leads to a tendency of sharing it more often. However, the supposed scientific nature of the information as a driving force of digital disinformation campaigns has so far been very little explored.

The project aims at finding underlying mechanisms involved in the digital spread of allegedly scientific health-related disinformation. This will be achieved by using extensive qualitative interview and survey methods in direct exchange with citizens in order to learn which critical events and subjective triggers lead to the spread of seemingly scientific disinformation. Based on the research findings, a generally applicable model of dealing with this type of disinformation will be developed. Disinformation in the health context is of significant societal relevance. The project results will make an important contribution  to the community and can potentially be applied in education, politics and society.


Understanding disinformation behaviour

Duration 10.2021 - 09.2024

Cooperation partner

ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin




The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the measure "Agile Research - Recognising and Combating Digital Disinformation Campaigns".

Disinformation in the health context

As part of the DESIVE² project, we have published a short paper in which we explain the research background of the project and the scientific approach: Fake Scientific Provenance as a Driver for Disinformation: Peoples' Disinformation Behavior in Health Contexts.

We want to find out what influence supposedly scientific sources and information have on the spread of disinformation and what causes people to disseminate health information. We presented the project at a virtual conference on 27 April 2022. Learn more in the blogpost.

We presented the project at a virtual conference on the 27th of April 2022. Find out more in the blogpost (in German)

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