The Role of the Technical Communicator in Combating Digital Disinformation

By: Joshua Taylor  

Disinformation was rampantly spread over social media during the United States 2016 presidential election. This paper examines how these lies were spread to target specific audiences via use of data analytics in an effort to influence their vote. This intentionally misleading content was sent to specific audiences who were determined to be most susceptible to persuasion based on their social media data. By focusing on the case of "Pizzagate," this work applies technical communication theory to the spread of disinformation in order to argue that technical communicators in digital spaces have a responsibility to respond to this ongoing and pervasive problem.

Technical Communication
2018 Special Focus: Alt-Media - The Shifting Tide of Political Communication
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Joshua Taylor

Graduate Teaching Assisatant, English, Iowa State University, United States
IA, United States

Iowa State PhD student in Rhetoric and Professional Communication