Call for the issue on “Climate change and digital engagement: trends, habits and dynamics on digital platforms”

The call for papers for the issue on “Climate change and digital engagement: trends, habits and dynamics in digital platforms“, edited by Pedro Rodrigues Costa, Edson Capoano and Alice Balbé, is open until August 30.

Digital platforms, especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, are populated by hate speech, fake news and disinformation dynamics (Costa, 2020a; Capoano & Costa, 2021; Capoano, Costa, Galhardi & Barros, 2021). However, these are still privileged places for news consumption, and Facebook is the most used for news consumption (Cardoso, Paisana & Pinto-Martinho, 2018).

The extent of fake news and disinformation influence in shaping “public opinion” is unclear since contingent intellects depend more on the mainstreams related to power and political-ideological domination than digital sharing and consumption dynamics (Costa, 2020b; Costa, 2020c; Costa & Capoano, 2021). However, there is a growing fear that many cannot discard sources of information that simulate journalistic style to deceive and thus contaminate their contacts by disseminating content without scientific evidence on digital platforms. This scenario is particularly problematic in the current post-truth era, in which emotions and shared beliefs sometimes reach a greater capacity to define public debates than rational arguments, facts, or evidence (Costa, 2020c; Costa, Sousa, Capoano & Pimenta, 2020).
In this sense, this thematic issue aims to understand the relationship between subjects and contents to create disinformation: conspiracy theories, denial strategies and fake news. It will focus specifically on the relationship between climate change and conspiracy theories, denial strategies and fake news, and their impacts on public opinion and engagement processes – involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence (Siqueira and Bronsztein, 2015) – of information consumers in digital networks.

As an example, we invoke a comparison of link accesses generated by Google Trends (Capoano. 2020) among the main environmental issues of 2019. That year, Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg generated hundreds of more web search reasons than all the other topics. The moral grounds associated with this notoriety referred to topics such as care/damage to nature and environmental justice/lie (Weber et al., 2018). Now, these dynamics stem precisely from trends, habits and socio-technical dynamics in the use of digital networks, which denote associations (Latour, 2020).

This issue aims to contribute to a systematic review of cultural, political and environmental experiences on the topic of climate change in the digital environment. Furthermore, it seeks a realistic and empirical approach to experiences, how digital social networks engage with societies on the environment topic and how disinformation, deliberate or not, influences stances on climate change. Is it possible to identify the influences of Fake news on the levels of climate change denial? Is that due to the dynamics of how information operates in digital networks? How to combat disinformation on environmental issues? What are the main sources of disinformation in this respect?

Drawing on this context, the editors welcome all papers addressing the following topics without excluding any others that might also be suitable:

— Digital Networks and Climate Change
— Digital Media and Climate Change
— Journalism and Climate Change
— Fake News and Climate Change
— Disinformation and Climate Change
— Disinformation, Digital Media and Environmental Issues
— Politics, Climate Change and the Culture of Denial
— Culture of Denial and Climate Change
— Culture of Denial, Digital Media and Digital Networks
— Audiences, Digital Media and Climate Change
— Sustainable development goals, fake news, the culture of denial and misinformation


Important dates:

Submission deadline: August 30, 2022
Review process: September 1, 2022, to October 30, 2022
Notification of authors for decision: November 1, 2022
Authors’ final versions: by November 30, 2022
Editors’ final checks: November 15 – December 15, 2022
Publication: December 2022

[Posted: 28-06-2022]