Editors: Pedro Rodrigues Costa and Edson Capoano
Digital networks, especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, are populated by hate speech, fake news and dynamics aimed at disinformation (Costa, 2020a; Capoano & Costa, 2021; Capoano, Costa, Galhardi & Barros, 2021). However, these continue to be the main spaces for news consumption, with Facebook being the most used for the consumption of news (Cardoso, Paisana, & Pinto-Martinho, 2018).
Although the degree of influence of the proliferation of fake news and misinformation circulating on digital networks in the formation of “public opinion” is not clear, as contingent intellects depend more on the currents of force associated with power and political-ideological domination than to the dynamics of digital sharing and consumption (Costa, 2020b; Costa, 2020c; Costa & Capoano, 2021), there is a growing fear that many will not be able to discard information sources that simulate the journalistic style, in order to deceive and end up contaminating their contacts, spreading content without scientific evidence in digital media. This scenario is particularly problematic in an era of post-truth, in which shared emotions and beliefs sometimes end up achieving greater capacity in defining public debates than rational arguments, facts or evidence (Costa, 2020c; Costa, Sousa, Capoano & Pimenta, 2020).
In this sense, this special issue aims to understand the relationship between subjects and content with the aim of creating disinformation: conspiracy theories, denial strategies and fake news. However, the objective of this issue is to specifically focus on the relationship between the issue of climate change and conspiracy theories, denial strategies and fake news, as well as their impacts on public opinion and on engagement processes – involvement, interaction, intimacy and influence (Siqueira and Bronsztein, 2015) – of information consumers in digital networks.
As an example, we invoked a comparison of link hits generated by Google Trends (Capoano. 2020) among the top environmental issues in 2019. That year, Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg generated hundreds of times more web search motifs than all others topics. The moral foundations associated with this notoriety referred to themes such as care/damage to nature and environmental justice/lie (Weber et al, 2018). Now, these dynamics result precisely from trends, habits and socio-technical dynamics in the use of digital networks, allowing to denote associations (Latour, 2020).
This special issue of The Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies (OJCMT) intends to contribute for a systematic review of worldwide experiences regarding the digital networking, cultural, political and environment impacts of digital media within societies. In addition, it does not intend to romanticize or to be overly the digital media, but rather a realistic and empirical approach of experiences, examples of how digital media engage with societies on the theme of the environment and how misinformation, premeditated or not, influences positions on the issue of climate change: is it possible to identify influences of Fake news on levels of climate denial? Is this due to the dynamics of information functioning in digital networks? How to combat misinformation on environmental issues? What are the main sources of disinformation in this regard?
Taking this context as an inspiration, editors welcome all articles focusing the following range set of topics, not excluding other suitable ones:
Submissions: To submit your manuscripts, go to https://www.editorialpark.com/ojcmt and select special issue “The engagement in digital networks and the climate change: trends, habits and socio-technical dynamics” during your submission.