Fake news: the effects of social media disinformation on domestic terrorism

This study tests whether social media disinformation contributes to domestic terrorism within countries. I theorize that disinformation disseminated by political actors online through social media heightens political polarization within countries and that this, in turn, produces an environment where domestic terrorism is more likely to occur. I test this theory using data from more than 150 countries for the period 2000–2017. I find that propagation of disinformation through social media drives domestic terrorism. Using mediation tests I also verify that disinformation disseminated through social media increases domestic terrorism by, among other processes, enhancing political polarization within society.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict on 2022-01-02, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17467586.2021.1895263.



Work Title Fake news: the effects of social media disinformation on domestic terrorism
Open Access
  1. James A. Piazza
  1. Terrorism
  2. Social media
  3. Disinformation
  4. Political polarization
License CC BY-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial)
Work Type Article
  1. Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict
Publication Date March 14, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. https://doi.org/10.1080/17467586.2021.1895263
Deposited February 17, 2023




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Piazza__Effects_of_Social_Media_Disinformation_on_Domestic_Terrorism__DAC.pdf
  • Added Creator James A. Piazza
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publisher, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Terrorism, Social media, Disinformation, Political polarization
    • Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide
    • Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict
    Publication Date
    • 2021-01-01
    • 2021-03-14
  • Updated