This interdisciplinary, international collection examines how sophisticated digital practices and technologies exploit and capitalize on emotions, with particular focus on how social media are used to exacerbate social conflicts surrounding racism, misogyny, and nationalism. 

Radically expanding the study of media and political communications, this book bridges humanities and social sciences to explore affective information economies, and how emotions are being weaponized within mediatized political landscapes. The chapters cover a wide range of topics: how clickbait, "fake news," and right-wing actors deploy and weaponize emotion; new theoretical directions for understanding affect, algorithms, and public spheres; and how the wedding of big data and behavioral science enables new frontiers of propaganda, as seen in the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal. The collection includes original interviews with luminary media scholars and journalists. 

The book features contributions from established and emerging scholars of communications, media studies, affect theory, journalism, policy studies, gender studies, and critical race studies to address questions of concern to scholars, journalists, and students in these fields and beyond.

chapter |50 pages


Propaganda by Other Means

part I|100 pages

Theorizing Media and Affect

chapter 1|16 pages

Affect, Media, Movement

Interview with Susanna Paasonen and Zizi Papacharissi

chapter 3|15 pages

“Fuck Your Feelings”

The Affective Weaponization of Facts and Reason

chapter 5|18 pages

Becoming Kind

A Political Affect for Post-Truth Times

chapter 6|17 pages

Beyond Behaviorism and Black Boxes

The Future of Media Theory Interview with Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Warren Sack, and Sarah Sharma

part II|110 pages

Affective Media, Social Media, and Journalism

chapter 7|17 pages

Pioneering Countercultural Conservatism

Limbaugh, Drudge, and Breitbart

chapter 8|16 pages

Breitbart’s Attacks on Mainstream Media

Victories, Victimhood, and Vilification

chapter 9|18 pages

Algorithmic Enclaves

Affective Politics and Algorithms in the Neoliberal Social Media Landscape

chapter 10|22 pages

Hashtagging the Québec Mosque Shooting

Twitter Discourses of Resistance, Mourning, and Islamophobia

chapter 11|19 pages

Hindu Nationalism, News Channels, and “Post-Truth” Twitter

A Case Study of “Love Jihad”

chapter 12|16 pages

Computational Propaganda and the News

Journalists’ Perceptions of the Effects of Digital Manipulation on Reporting

part III|90 pages

Exploitation of Emotions in Digital Media

chapter 14|18 pages

The Heart’s Content

The Emotional Turn at Upworthy

chapter 15|16 pages

Empires of Feeling

Social Media and Emotive Politics

chapter 17|21 pages

Digital Propaganda and Emotional Micro-Targeting

Interview with Jonathan Albright, Carole Cadwalladr, Paolo Gerbaudo, and Tamsin Shaw