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Techniques of disinformation: constructing and communicating "soft facts" after terrorism

Innes, Martin ORCID: 2020. Techniques of disinformation: constructing and communicating "soft facts" after terrorism. British Journal of Sociology 71 (2) , pp. 284-299. 10.1111/1468-4446.12735

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Informed by social media data collected following four terror attacks in the UK in 2017, this article delineates a series of “techniques of disinformation” used by different actors to try and influence how the events were publicly defined and understood. By studying the causes and consequences of misleading information following terror attacks, the article contributes empirically to the neglected topic of social reactions to terrorism. It also advances scholarship on the workings of disinforming communications, by focusing on a domain other than political elections, which has been the empirical focus for most studies of disinformation to date. Theoretically, the analysis is framed by drawing an analogy with Gresham Sykes and David Matza's (1957) account of the role of “techniques of neutralization” originally published in the American Sociological Review. The connection being that where they studied deviant behaviour, a similar analytic lens can usefully be applied to disinformation cast as “deviant” information.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Crime and Security Research Institute (CSURI)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0007-1315
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 29 November 2019
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 18:54

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