What is it about?

Disinformation is a major concern in social media, and it is necessary to understand its circulation as beliefs that cannot be fact-checked. This study investigates an online echo chamber that believes the Earth is flat to understand their word-crafting techniques that make their arguments engaging to their audience. It finds that disinformation is more than facts vs. falsehoods; it is an orchestrated program that generates engagement through identity-driven culture wars. Disinfo circulates through never-ending grudges. The study shows that identity-driven controversies constitute a vehicle through which disinformation disseminates on social media. This means that raucous grudges on social media create a feedback loop that solidifies disinformation as points of view, becoming a way of ‘knowing’ in the world. The paper offers a detailed analysis of the arguments supporting beliefs on the flat Earth theory--and how to argue with them.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

The study explains that fact-checking backfires when disinformation circulates as identity work. To counter disinformation, policymakers, and social media platforms can use a rhetorical approach to give participants of echo chambers an exit opportunity without losing face.


Whereas disinformation campaigns are often covert, flat-earthers make public arguments, crafting careful and detailed arguments for their beliefs that are impervious to fact-checking. We wanted to carefully listen to their arguments to understand what makes them so persuasive to a growing audience. We found that their arguments are actually quite repetitive, returning again and again to core themes.

Carlos Diaz Ruiz
Hanken Svenska Handelshogskolan

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Disinformation and Echo Chambers: How Disinformation Circulates on Social Media Through Identity-Driven Controversies, Journal of Marketing & Public Policy, August 2022, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/07439156221103852.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page