Athina Karatzogianni

Athina Karatzogianni

Speaker & Session Chair

Athina Karatzogianni is a professor in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester. She is currently Principal Investigator for the European Commission Horizon 2020 project: ‘DigiGen: The Impact of Technological Transformations on the Digital Generation’ leading the work on ICT and the transformation of civic participation (2019-2022). Her research has focused on the intersections between digital media theory, resistance networks and global politics, investigating ICT use by social movements, protest, and insurgency groups.

Conference Contribution

COVID19 Disinformation and Response in India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand

This talk problematises findings from a Global Challenges Urgency fund COVID-19 focussed research project that investigates Covid 19 virus-related disinformation and its viral spread (misinformation) in four different South-East Asian countries (India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand).

Despite the global digital divide, the consumption of online news in these countries is high especially for people under 40. This multi-country project compares and contrasts COVID19 national country hashtags, networks, and respective online content across these four countries by collecting and analysing data from Twitter, in order to identify cross-cultural communication factors influencing how the dominant actors, networks, and discourses of disinformation spread across the Twitter platform.

The study uses the method of social media ‘listening’ whereby a wealth of data was mined via Pulsar from 22 January 2020 to 22 May 2020) based on key hashtags relating to COVID19 for each country, with 23 expert interviews conducted online with key actors from government, corporate and civil society domains, identified by project partners in these countries. This research contributes to understanding intercultural differences in what is considered disinformation and how disinformation is constructed in different cultures, i.e., the political and cultural interplay between government, science and the public.

Based on this study, the speaker will reveal the impact of platformisation on the public sphere in four developing countries in South East-Asia and provide insight and sophisticated knowledge on how disinformation spreads on a social media platform, analysing the structure of different kinds of disinformation architectures as well as identify patterns, similarities and differences, continuities and discontinuities comparatively, demonstrating with examples what preliminary factors can explain them.

Combating Disinformation – Build, Educate, or Regulate?