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Journal or Book Title

International Journal of Communication


The field of disinformation studies remains relatively silent about questions of identity, motivation, labor, and morality. Drawing from a one-year ethnographic study of disinformation producers employed in digital black ops campaigns in the Philippines, this article proposes that approaches from production studies can address gaps in disinformation research. We argue that approaching disinformation as a culture of production opens inquiry into the social conditions that entice people to this work and the creative industry practices that normalize fake news as a side gig. This article critically reflects on the methodological risks and opportunities of ethnographic research that subverts expectations of the exceptionally villainous troll and instead uses narratives of creative workers’ complicity and collusion to advance holistic social critique and local-level disinformation interventions.






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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.