New essay addressing some (mis)perceptions of misinformation research

In a new essay, my colleagues and I at the Center for an Informed Public respond to recent arguments that claim concern over misinformation constitutes a “moral panic.” We counter that many of these critiques mischaracterize the very field they critique, by ignoring interpretivist and critical perspectives that many researchers consider foundational.

As a multidisciplinary area of inquiry, misinformation studies perhaps does not lend itself to straightforward, systematic cataloging across what Orlikowski and Baroudi called “schools of thought.” The fact that there even are multiple competing perspectives may be missed altogether in large part because scholars working in disparate disciplines may not explicitly frame their work in conversation with one another. But we maintain that any maturing area of inquiry can only be made richer by more, not less, systematic study from varying epistemological perspectives.