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Media Asia

For a Special Issue on

Social Media and Gendered Disinformation: The Double-Edged Sword for Women Journalists

Abstract deadline
15 November 2023

Manuscript deadline
15 March 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Sadia Jamil, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China
[email protected]

Barış Çoban, Doğuş University, Turkey
[email protected]

Gifty Appiah-Adjei, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
[email protected]

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Social Media and Gendered Disinformation: The Double-Edged Sword for Women Journalists

Social media has long been acknowledged as a platform of representation for diverse sections of society including the marginalized groups and communities. Peculiarly, it offers a space to women to express their issues and concerns that are often either silenced or denied in offline spaces. However, in many parts of the world, the patriarchal silencing of women that takes place in offline spaces is more and more being translated online. The social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, have emerged as the online spaces of women’s targeting and abuse. Women are not just being targeted for their gender and sexuality, but their professional capabilities and credibility is also being challenged through patriarchal patronizing attitudes. This does not mean that they are alone the victim of gendered disinformation, but studies suggest that online targeting against women is happening at a disproportionately higher rate than men, often through the tool of disinformation.

Gendered disinformation has thus emerged as one of the ways of silencing female voices. The Internet Governance Forum defines gendered disinformation as “information activities (creating, sharing, disseminating content) which: a) attacks or undermines people on the basis of their gender, and b) weaponizes gendered narratives to promote political, social or economic objectives”. Most importantly, the gendered disinformation content is created or recreated by actors who are outside or at the peripheral of the experiences of these female voices they seek to silence and, in the process, establish hierarchies of knowledge and power that encourage the insidious nature and operations of the established power to thrive. The notion of gendered disinformation resonates with online disinformation, which involves the spread of false or misleading information with some degree of coordination and harmful or negative intent. Nevertheless, gendered disinformation is done using sexual or misogynistic narratives against women which propagates a negative representation of women in society as either adversaries or victims. The goal of these campaigns, especially in targeting women politicians, journalists, activists, academics, or public figures, is to question their capabilities, reliability, diverge their audience, and push them away from positions of power. In some cases, disinformation campaigns seek to undermine feminist movements at large.

Scholars agree that social media has provided online spaces to express themselves and has amplified their voices, especially in context where their identity and expression is curbed in offline spaces. But at the same time, it is acting as a new tool of their suppression and has led to the characterization of social media as a “double-edged sword” for women. The profound impact of gendered disinformation on female journalists, audiences and democracy seems to be absent in disinformation discourses necessitating the need to address this phenomenon with consideration to the importance of diversity in women’s experiences. Particularly, the intersectionality of race, class, ethnicity, gender, religion and nationality are significant factors that merit crucial attention in the consideration of gendered disinformation on social media.

This special issue hence aims to highlight the impacts of gendered disinformation on social media that women journalists continue to face in their personal and professional lives. It welcomes submissions related to topics:

  • Online misogyny and its impacts on women journalists’ personal and professional lives
  • Gendered disinformation and women journalists’ mental well-being
  • Gendered disinformation and the challenge of equal representation
  • Gendered disinformation and sexism in patriarchal societies
  • Gendered disinformation and media literacy

Submission Instructions

The special issue welcomes submissions of research articles, commentaries, and reviews.

Authors are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to guest editors via email with the subject line: Media Asia Special Issue by 15 November, 2023. Authors of accepted abstracts shall be notified by 30 November, 2023.

During the submission process, please state clearly that your manuscript is intended for publication consideration in the special issue.


  • Abstracts submission: by 15 November, 2023
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: no later than 30 November, 2023
  • Full manuscripts submission: by 15 March, 2024
  • Completion of first review: no later than 30 April, 2024
  • Submission of first revised manuscripts: by 15 June, 2024
  • Submission of second revised manuscripts: by 15 July, 2024
  • Notification of final acceptance: no later than 31 August, 2024
  • Expected Publication: Early 2025 (January – March, or TBC by Editor-in-Chief)

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article