Disinformation Resources

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General Resources

Reading List

Get ready for Confronting the Disinformation Age with titles in this recommended reading list prepared by the SFU library. These works expand on some of the key ideas discussed throughout the 2019 Community Summit and are available for borrowing in the SFU Library collection.


Post-truth: Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

Disinformation: False information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media.

Misinformation: Information that is unintentionally false or inaccurate.

Click Bait: Something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest. It is often paid for by the advertiser or generates income based on the number of clicks.

Confirmation Bias: the tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs.

Filter Bubble: Tendency for internet users to see only news & ideas that they agree with, or have interest in, due to personalization algorithms of search engine results and social media platform feeds.

Federal Documents

Democracy Under Threat: Risks and Solutions
in the Era of Disinformation and Data Monopoly
Canadian House of Commons

View PDF

“Who Said That?” - The Security
Challenges of Modern Disinformation
Canadian Security Services  

View PDF


SFU Communications — Making Knowledge Public

Digital Democracy 101 Explainers

Other Videos


Student Resources

Youth Take Action

Digital Citizenship Day

During the 2019 Community Summit, high school students from across Greater Vancouver worked together to create a Digital Rights Manifesto.

SFU Classes

Digital Democracies

CMNS 235

Introduces students to the study of the relationship between public communication, information media practices and structures, and democracy. Examines the role of media and communication in existing and emerging democratic contexts, including print and electronic journalism, alternative media, public spheres, and the challenges of constructing and maintaining a democratic media and communication environment in Canadian and global contexts. Prerequisite: Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-.

The Political Economy of Communication

CMNS 240

Examination of the political and economic processes that have generated the policies and structures of mass media, telecommunications and related industries; the relationship between the dichotomies of state and market, citizen and consumer, capitalism and democracy, global and local, and sovereignty and globalization in media industries and policies; overview of influences on State and international policies towards the media. Prerequisite: Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-.

Introduction to Information Technology: The New Media


An introduction to new communication/information technologies, seen as new media of communication: the technologies, their uses, and the social issues arising from them. Students with credit for CMNS 253 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-. Writing.

Media and Modernity

CMNS 310

An examination of the social and cultural influences of media on western social thought with particular reference to the emergence of the concept of modernity. This includes a review of nineteenth and early twentieth century criticisms of modernity associated with romanticism, Marxism, cultural conservatism, fascism, and non-Western social thought. Prerequisite: Two of CMNS 210, 221, 240, both with a minimum grade of C-.

Documentary Media

CMNS 322

Introduction to the history and theory of documentary film, focusing on a range of examples from the 1920's to the present. Explores the shifting definition of documentary and realism. Students who have taken CMNS 386-4 (Special Topics) with the topic "Problems in Documentary", offered in Fall 03, Fall 05, and Spring 07 terms, may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 60 units including CMNS 220, FPA 135, 136 or 137, with a minimum grade of C-.

Community Summit 2019 Classroom Partnership Papers:

Caption it “is this the real life, is this just fantasy”: An analysis of social media’s effect on documenting reality | PDF (150 KB)

The Ethical Concerns Apparent in Born into Brothels (2004) | PDF (188 KB)

The Evolution of Comedy Vérité from TV to YouTube | PDF (188 KB)

The Use of Documentary Codes in Political Parody: Heritage Minutes and the Conservative Party of Canada | PDF (352 KB)

Fishing for Prejudice | PDF (147 KB)

News Discourse as Political Communication

CMNS 331

An examination of journalism and the news media as a set of institutions with important political and ideological roles. The course overviews theoretical perspectives and applies selected theoretical concepts to such topics as: influences on media content, how news generates meaning, ideological aspects of media frames, and the evaluation of journalism's performance in relation to normative expectations of democratic political communication. Prerequisite: At least one of CMNS 235 or 240, with a minimum grade of C-.

Media, Learning, and Social Change

CMNS 327

Examines the institutional associations between media and learning across a range of cultural practices. Specific attention is given to research examining young people's informal learning in relation to various media forms, and also addressed is how electronic and digital media have been used in a range of learning settings to convey information, and to promote understanding and social change. Students with credit for CMNS 387 (taken in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, or Spring 2014 terms) may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 60 units, including one of CMNS 210, 220, 221, 223 (or 223W), 230, 235, 240 or 253 (or 253W), with a minimum grade of C-.

Globalization and Media

CMNS 348

Examines the dynamic global transformations in media, including print, broadcast, film, and digital media in a broad international and comparative context. Investigates globalization as a critical concept and considers media in the long history of globalization. Focuses on political, cultural, and technological issues addressed by media and globalization at the turn of the 21st Century. Students who have taken CMNS 387 with the subtitle "Globalization and Media" may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 60 units including at least two of CMNS 210, 220, 221, 223 (or 223W), 230, 235, 240, or 253 (or 253W), with a minimum grade of C-.

Media and Ideology

CMNS 410

An advanced seminar which explores intersections between communications, media studies and social theory through an in-depth history of the concept of ideology. Students who have taken CMNS 422 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 75 units, including CMNS 310 with a minimum grade of C-. CMNS 331 and SA 327 recommended.

Participatory Youth Media Cultures

CMNS 427

Examines the nature, meaning and pedagogical implications of participatory media cultures, including their relationship to the development of a digitally literate citizenry. Participatory cultures involve social, cultural and economic relations and practices that change the meaning of literacy, learning, and possibilities for socio political change. These developments are examined with a view to how they shape young people's lives. Students with credit for CMNS 487 (taken in Summer 2009, Summer 2010, Summer 2011, or Summer 2012 terms) may not complete this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 75 units, and CMNS 327 or CMNS 387 (with the topic "Media and Education"), with a minimum grade of C-.

Issues in the Information Society

CMNS 453

Advanced seminar to discuss issues in the interplay between contemporary society and new computer/communication technologies, at the level of comprehensive theories of society, on one hand, and major public policy, on the other. This course can be repeated once for credit if second topic is different (up to a maximum of two times). Prerequisite: 75 units, including CMNS 253W, 353 or 354, with a minimum grade of C-. CMNS 362 is recommended.

Fake News and Alt-Facts: Navigating Post-Truths Politics

POL 318

Explores the emergence of post-truth politics; the rejection of expert and scientific opinion; and the emergence of "alternative facts" and "fake news" in political discourse on current issues such as climate change, immigration and the economy. Also explores corresponding increase in the ideological polarization in the US, Canada, and the UK and other European nations. Students with credit for POL 339 Selected Topics in Comparative Government and Politics under the title Navigating the Post-Truth World may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: Six lower division units in Political Science or permission of the department.

Education Materials

Teaching resources available. All are education based!

Educator Resources