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Social media’s content can be funny, shocking, or emotional. What it does not have to be is true.

In today’s digital age, social media has become a powerful tool for spreading information and shaping public opinion. However, it has also become a breeding ground for disinformation, where echo chambers can amplify and reinforce false beliefs.

In their research paper published in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Carlos Diaz Ruiz and Tomas Nilsson investigate how disinformation circulates in echo chambers on social media, using the example of the flat Earth conspiracy theory on YouTube.

The authors propose a two-phase framework for how disinformation spreads in echo chambers. In the first phase, disinformation is introduced into the echo chamber through identity-based grievances, like marginalization or victimization. In the second phase, disinformation is weaponized through multiple rhetorical strategies and forms of knowing, such as appeals to emotion, conspiracy theories, and pseudoscience.

The authors argue that disinformation campaigns are not just about spreading false information, but also about creating a sense of community and belonging within the echo chamber. By reinforcing shared beliefs and values, disinformation can create a sense of identity and purpose among its followers.

To combat the spread of disinformation in echo chambers, it is essential to understand the arguments circulating in echo chambers so that proper rebuttals can be crafted. Arguments coming from authority are not helpful because the echo chamber is designed to oppose figures of authority. It also means promoting media literacy and critical thinking skills, so that people can better discern between fact and fiction.


Diaz Ruiz, C., & Nilsson, T. (2023). Disinformation and Echo Chambers: How Disinformation Circulates on Social Media Through Identity-Driven Controversies. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 42(1), 18-35. https://doi.org/10.1177/07439156221103852

How Disinformation Spreads in Echo Chambers on Social Media: Research Summary