Response: "The Effects of Participatory Propaganda"
Dear Mr. Zuckerman,
Our colleagues brought our attention to the above-mentioned article published in your Journal by Gregory Asmolov, which deals with a concept of 'participatory propaganda'. This is a concept Alicia Wanless and I researched extensively since 2016 and described in a number of conference presentations and papers (including a chapter in the forthcoming Sage Handbook on Propaganda). We also suggested a definition for the term, which was referenced and/or cited by other scholars since then. A simple Google search for the term will confirm this.
In his article, Asmolov examines the concept from a different perspective, elaborating its mechanism and effects, and thus contributing to a better understanding of this new form of propaganda that engages and transforms target audiences. I enjoyed reading it. It was all the more disconcerting to see many of our ideas been articulated without a reference to some of our original work on the subject (let alone similar sourcing). Moreover, Alicia Wanless spoke about our findings on 'participatory propaganda' on the same panel session with Georgy at Oxford University in 2017, and he appears to also be at King's College in London, where Alicia is currently working on her PhD.
Without diminishing Asmolov's contribution, a simple search on the term would have ensured that previous work on this important issue was properly attributed, as is customary in academic circles.