Widespread misinformation is troubling, not just because it is wrong, but also because it can persist in the face of attempts to correct it, and thus becomes part of a larger culture of community-based pseudoknowledge (PK).


Prior work has focused on the motivations and psychology of those who create and maintain PK but has neglected inspection of the dynamics of collective PK production itself. In this exploratory case study, we illustrate how the active participation of multiple collaborators adapts PK over time through a process we liken to participatory storytelling. We argue that the Internet provides a uniquely well-suited environment for evolving PK that is “more fit”, in that it is more engaging, easier to defend, and possibly easier to spread.

Accepted and presented at SMSociety’17 Conference.


  • Analytic Coding


  • Content Analysis
  • Narrative Analysis