Information Pollution as Social Harm: Investigating the Digital Drift of Medical Misinformation in a Time of Crisis

Webinar, April 21, 2021

We inform the readers of the forthcoming webinar on Wednesday 21th April (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM BST) where the book Information Pollution as Social Harm: Investigating the Digital Drift of Medical Misinformation in a Time of Crisis (Emerald) by Dr Anita Lavorgna will be presented in the context of the Cybercrime Awareness Seminar Series of the Cybercrime Awareness Clinic of the University of Portsmouth.

The event is free, and attendees can register at this link:

Cybercrime Awareness Seminar: The Digital Drift of Medical Misinformation Tickets, Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 4:00 PM | Eventbrite

The book, which will be available from April 30, sheds light on potentially dangerous social practices grouped under the umbrella term of health-related information pollution. By relying on virtual ethnography carried out on Italian-speaking alternative lifestyle and counterinformation online communities, it investigates online medical misinformation and germane practices during the 2020 pandemic, conceptualizing them in the broader context of technology-facilitated social harms. It shows how the nature of personal interactions online and the construction of both personal and group identities through the development of an ‘us vs them’ narrative are central to the creation and propagation of medical misinformation. Online, the feeling of taking control of information and a renewed sense of agency become the instruments to restore what are perceived as lost freedoms.

Dr Anita Lavorgna is Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Southampton. Anita has an international research track record on and expertise in interdisciplinary research drawing together criminology, socio-legal studies, and web science. She has worked extensively on cybercrime, serious and organised crime, and online social harms.