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Parsing out disinformation campaigns targeting academics

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Far Right's Cancel Culture and Communication Studies

This opinion piece is the third of a five-part series on the intertwined webs of the far right mobilised to attack communication and media studies pedagogy. This piece is written in solidarity with other Communication and Media Studies academics, researchers, and practitioners who have been targeted by the far-right.  The Far-Right wants to cancel Communication and Media Studies. The entire discipline. Yes, you read it right, the entire discipline! A platform titled "The Centrist" published the article, "Abolish communications and media studies (Karl du Fresne)," opening with: "Writer Karl du Fresne says abolishing the department of communications and media studies at every university will vastly ease the financial crisis of those unis while neutralising a key source of division in the culture wars." This irrational rant would be comical if not for the violence such rhetoric promotes, the direct effects of which are experienced by academics , particularl

The Far Right, Misinformation, and Academic Freedom

The far-right thrives on hate .  Hate is both a political and an economic tool. It drives profits, both for the producers of hate and the platforms carrying the hate.  Hate delivers an ever-expanding global market of readers/viewers/listeners. Moreover, it delivers a political market . That's why hate proliferates in election cycles, building up to elections. Whether it is Modi's Hindutva , Bolsonaro's Brazilian Christo-fascism , or Trump's white supremacist Christian nationalism , far-right authoritarian strategies depend on hate to take over democratic processes and spaces. One of the cornerstones in the political mobilisation of the far-right across these movements is the attack on education and learning, seeking to replace critical education with propaganda upholding the majoritarian ideology (consider here the convergence in the attacks on history curricula), activated around drummed-up fears of what the youth are being fed in schools. Moreover, the ideology seek

The far right's attack on Communication and Media Studies

Figure 1: Screen Capture of Karl du Fresne's attack on the discipline of Communication and Media Studies on The Platform [The far right in Aotearoa has been driving an organised attack on the discipline of Communication and Media Studies. This opinion piece is part of a five-part series on the organized attack of the far right on Communication and Media Studies pedagogy and research. Recently, this ecosystem has picked me as a poster child for the discipline, pushing forth a conspiracy about a sinister "Left Woke Agenda." The first two of the pieces in this series are responses to targeted attacks on my research programme, and the next three pieces will offer disciplinary analyses. Such attacks from the far-right, through mobilization of othering discourse , rendered virality through digital platforms, are integral to the mobilization of violence targeting academics. As a member of the Board of the International Communication Association, I think it is critical that we ta