Oxford Internet Institute Calls for Papers on Reframing ‘Fake News’

Professor Helen Margetts, Director, Oxford Internet Institute
Professor Helen Margetts, Director, Oxford Internet Institute

The Oxford Internet institute, a multi-disciplinary research and teaching department of University of Oxford, dedicated to the social science of the internet, is calling for papers on Reframing ‘Fake News’: Architectures, Influence, and Automation for a special issue of Policy and Internet, the first major peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal investigating the impact of the Internet on public policy. The report will be published in September 2018.

The research involves politics, society and ethics that clarify the factors underpinning ‘fake news’ which can help to shape the future regulation of political campaigns, information privacy, and strengthen the democratic function of the Fourth Estate, which reinforces meaningful discourse in a globalized digital world.

The institute accepts research from across the social, cultural and information science disciplines as well as from the digital humanities and other relevant disciplines. Research papers should have clear policy relevance and also make clear policy implications.

This special issues intends to publish a collection of innovative cross-disciplinary work that will shed light on the social, technological, economic and political factors which will enable or encourage the creation, circulation and consumption of fake news and issues to be considered includes: the role of platforms and their architectures and interfaces; the role of data collection and data use for influence operations and the role and regulation of ‘artificial amplification’ and automated systems.

Realizing the relevance of ‘fake news’ as it concerns platforms, data, and politics rising across internet-related disciplines, the institute seeks to assemble a collection of cross-disciplinary research to better frame the underlying problems before solutions are further engaged with. This special issue of Policy and Internet also seeks to explore key factors (e.g., design choices, data practices, or other policy/regulatory factors) that increase the susceptibility of modern information environments to dis/misinformation, external manipulation, and artificial discourse shaping.

The Institute also invites work aligning with one or more of the three areas as follows for consideration:

Architectures and Interfaces which includes designs and technologies that increase the susceptibility of information environments to ‘fake news’, the role of measurement systems and social ‘attention metrics’, economic incentives related to content delivery and recommendation.

Data in Influence Operations which includes Strategies application of data for behaviour (re) targeting and influencing, Accessing success: the use of data in impact evaluation methodologies, The future of data collection: scenarios for protection and cross-jurisdiction enforcement issues

Automated and Regulations which includes classification and impact of ‘bots ‘ and non-human actors , Processes of amplification in coordinated influence campaigns, policy scenarios under different regulatory environments and geopolitical contexts.

Research papers should be between 6000-8000 words and submitted through the journal’s online submission form by October 31, 2017. Submissions will be double-blind peer-reviewed by three reviewers.

Questions about the fit for the issue should be sent to the guest editors at j.albright@columbia.edu while queries about the submission process should be directed to david.sutcliffe@oii.ox.ac.uk, the journal’s managing editor.