Advancing Research into Dark Participation

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Commentary | Open Access

Advancing Research into Dark Participation


  • Oscar Westlund Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway / Volda University College, Norway / University of Gothenburg, Sweden


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Abstract:  Dark participation is and should be an essential concept for scholars, students and beyond, considering how widespread disinformation, online harassment, hate speech, media manipulation etc. has become in contemporary society. This commentary engages with the contributions to this timely thematic issue, which advance scholarship into dark participation associated with news and misinformation as well as hate in a worthwhile way. The commentary closes with a call for further research into four main areas: 1) the motivations that drive dark participation behaviors by individuals and coordinated groups; 2) how these individuals and groups exploit platforms and technologies for diverse forms of dark participation; 3) how news publishers, journalists, fact-checkers, platform companies and authorities are dealing with dark participation; and 4) how the public can advance their media literacy for digital media in order to better deal with dark participation. Authorities must advance and broaden their approaches focused on schools and libraries, and may also use emerging technologies in doing so.

Keywords:  dark participation; disinformation; journalism; misinformation; platforms; platform exploitation

Published:   3 February 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v9i1.1770


© Oscar Westlund. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.