Call for Papers: COVID-19 Infodemic - Between Law, Ethics, and Fake News




International Journal for the Semiotics of Law & Comparative Leglilinguistics




Guest Editors: Anne WAGNER, Aleksandra MATULEWSKA & Sarah MARUSEK 

The 2020 pandemic of Covid-19 virus struck the globalized world unexpectedly, resulting in the misleading predictions of fatalities information chaos and fake news. Aware of the consequential impact of distortions and half-truths, the World Health Organization stresses that societies suffer not only as a direct result of disease, social-distancing but also over- abundance of information that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance. The spread of rumors and misinformation has been possible also due to the prevalence of distance communication methods which enable publication of anything without any limits or peer review as verification. Such pieces of news, if skillfully posted, may reach enormous numbers of people causing harm and unpredictable consequences. 

The important questions one may ask focus on the following topics: 

1. Journalism ethics – in the light of the need to catch attention of readers numerous 

journals start posting and publishing unverified and misleading materials, 

2. The role of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tencent, Tiktok and 

others in limiting or spreading misinformation, 

3. Hate speech and cyberbullying connected with pandemic and its effects on society, 

economy, politics, etc. 

4. Cyberattacks connected with Covid-19 (Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cyberattacks directed at its staff, and email scams targeting the public at large, analogously platforms made available to teachers and other sectors such as ZOOM have been hacked), 

5. Ostracism directed at people who got infected and unconsciously spread the 

disease onto others, 

6. Legal means of combating fake news, hate speech, cyberbullying, 

7. Stereotyping and deviant community creation as a result of stereotypes, 

8. Image manipulation, 

9. Other semiotic aspects of communication during pandemic, 

10. Imaging China as the first country who detected the infected people, 

11. Imaging other countries hit by the virus, 

12. Imaging political parties involved in decision-making processes connected with 

counteracting the pandemic, 

13. Political discourse – modes of reporting infections, disease, asking for help, 

solidarity, social distancing, 

14. Imagining artistic means to express concern, solidarity and hope. 

Our aims, with these 3 important Special Issues, are (1) to provide an international interdisciplinary forum of thought in these scientific fields where linguistic and legal interests converge, (2) to facilitate integration between linguists, semioticians, computer scientists, medical experts and lawyers from all around the world, (3) to demonstrate a broader overview of Covid-19 invading both our personal and professional spaces, and (4) to show the various political, legal and medical measures put in place to combat this invisible scourge. 

- 2 Special Issues for International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, each of which can 

comprise 14 papers of no more than 30 pages. - 1 Special Issue for Comparative Legilinguistics that can comprise 6 papers of no more 

than 30 pages 

We welcome submissions in English or French. 

Send your proposal to the three of us:,, and

Deadline for abstract of 300 words: 10 February 2021 

Decision for inclusion: 10 April 2021 

Deadline for full paper: 15 March 2022 (instructions will be sent after decision to include papers in the special issue)