Using the Life Cycle of Media Manipulation, each case study features a chronological description of a media manipulation event, which is filtered along specific variables such as tactics, targets, mitigation, outcomes, and keywords.
Andrew Tate's rise to fame in 2022 relied on internet hustle culture, popular reaction videos, and mainstream media amplification, which buoyed his misogynistic and prejudiced views into a powerful brand.
How did a TikTok trend that never existed alarm schools and teachers across the United States? This case documents how viral misinformation spread by concerned adults and amplified by the press became a full-fledged media manipulation campaign.
The Milk Tea Alliance emerged as an online battle that pitted pro-Chinese Communist Party accounts against pro-democracy netizens in Asia. It evolved into a loosely coordinated network of young activists who use media manipulation and protest tactics to counter perceived illiberal governance or authoritarian actions worldwide. This case documents the Alliance's rise from meme war to transnational activism.
In 2020, a vast protest movement purportedly attempting to "#SaveTheChildren" from a non-existent cabal of satanist-worshipping pedophiles grew out of the QAnon conspiracy movement and mobilized people into the streets across the United States and beyond. Along the way, the campaign contributed to the spread misinformation about sex trafficking, and exposed a mainstream audience to harmful conspiracy theories. This case study traces the #SaveTheChildren campaign through its origins to its current impact.