DEGENET / University of Salzburg (Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg) (AT)


University of Salzburg (Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg) (AT)

Dark Communication in Digital Networks of Conspiracy

Conspiracy narratives on social media raise concerns about the quality of public discourse. They spread across various platforms, transcending geographical boundaries. Users from different countries engage in multiple platforms simultaneously, including popular ones like Facebook and emerging „dark platforms“ such as Telegram, the latter characterized by minimal content regulation.

DEGENET, an interdisciplinary project at the University of Salzburg, investigates how users leverage platforms to spread “dark communication” transnationally. This issue is investigated through a case study on the Austrian Corona protest movement. Advanced computer-assisted analyses of geo-social media data using semantic and geo-referential techniques shed light on the transnational digital network that disseminates conspiracy narratives – both in the network’s topological nature and its manifestation in geographic space. The project also explores the challenges to democracy arising from these findings.


The research team at the University of Salzburg brings together experts from Communication Science Geoinformatics.


Ricarda Drüeke (DE), Roland Holzinger (AT), Nefta Kanilmaz (DE), Corinna Peil (DE), Bernd Resch (AT), Charlotte Spencer-Smith (AT, GB?), Thomas Steinmaurer (AT), Christian Wasner (AT)

The project is funded by the Regional Government of Salzburg (Land Salzburg) and is located at the University of Salzburg