Digital Disinformation in Africa: Hashtag Politics, Power and Propaganda (Paperback)

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Digital Disinformation in Africa: Hashtag Politics, Power and Propaganda By Tony Roberts (Editor), George Karekwaivanane (Editor) Cover Image
By Tony Roberts (Editor), George Karekwaivanane (Editor)
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In an era when hashtag campaigns like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter capture global attention for victims of injustice, politicians and corporations are now spending billions employing Cambridge Analytica-type consultancies to manufacture disinformation - employing trolls, cyborgs and bots to disrupt dialogue and drown-out dissent. In the first study of its kind, this book presents a range of case studies of these emerging dynamics across Africa, mapping and analyzing disinformation operations in ten different countries, and using innovative techniques to determine who is producing and coordinating these increasingly sophisticated disinformation machines.

Drawing on scholars from across the continent, case studies document the actors and mechanisms used to profile citizens, manipulate beliefs and behaviour, and close the political space for democratic dialogue and policy debate. Chapters include examinations of how the Nigerian government deployed disinformation when the #EndSARS campaign focused attention on police brutality and corruption; insights into how pro-government actors responded to the viral #ZimbabweanLivesMatter campaign; and how misogynists mobilized against the #AmINext campaign against gender-based violence in South Africa.

Through the documentation of episodes of unruly politics in digital spaces, these studies provide a valuable assessment of the implications of these dynamics for digital rights, moving beyond a focus on elaborations of the idea of 'fake news', and providing actionable recommendations in the areas of policy, legislation and practice.

About the Author

George Karekwaivanane is a Lecturer in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK. His publications include The Struggle over Power in Zimbabwe: Law and Politics since 1950, along with three other edited collections. Tony Roberts is a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK. A digital development practitioner since 1988, he founded and led two international development agencies including Computer Aid International. He is currently the Principal Investigator on the GCRF-UKRI-funded African Digital Rights Network.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781350319202
ISBN-10: 1350319201
Publisher: Zed Books
Publication Date: January 25th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English