Conspiracy theories in digital environments: Moving the research field forward

Jing Zeng, Mike S Schäfer, Thaiane M Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the past few years, the discussion of conspiracy theories has embroiled researchers, politicians and the public alike. During the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, the term ‘conspiracy theory’ became a buzzword in the news media, public communication and everyday discussions. The pandemic also demonstrated that conspiratorial narratives disseminated online are not benign, obscure and eventually harmless ideas, but can mislead policy making, hinder crisis relief and public health efforts, or undermine trust in institutions and science. Factors contributing to the prevalence of conspiracy theories are complex and include psychological as well as socio-political factors. This special issue focuses specifically on the role of digital media and how they shape the dissemination and mitigation of, as well as research on, conspiracy theories. The special issue includes 13 research articles by authors from 11 countries and regions, which provide timely insights into the phenomenon of conspiracy theories with cross-cultural and cross-platform advances.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConvergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


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