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Folklore 69 came out

It is our pleasure to present to you the latest issue of Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore, with Eda Kalmre as the guest editor. This special issue focuses on the research of conspiracy theories, contemporary legends, and rumours – sets of ideas and practices, their spread, consistence, and models, spreading as newslore, fake news, and communication styles – which strongly influence today’s society and often create insecurity. Rumours and their related genre, legends, have a significant role in today’s social and everyday communication, and articles presented here proceed from these two genres.
The first article by Anastasiya Astapova is about presidential election folklore in Belarus, which is a non-democratic country and where the results of the elections are known in advance. The author shows, based on her fieldwork examples, how the genres of rumours and jokes are interconnected, sometimes to the point of being indiscernible.
Zuzana Panczová presents in her article one of the typical features of conspiracy theories – a dualistic worldview, which explains important events as a consequence of a hidden struggle between ‘Us’ and the dark forces. The author points out the functions of the concept of the West as an ‘enemy’ in rumours and conspiracy theories.
Alexander Panchenko’s article deals with the role of conspiratorial motifs and themes in the formation and transmission of what is known as ‘contemporary legend’. The author shows how and why the present-day conspiracy theories and practices of ‘conspiratorial hermeneutics’ are inspired by particular combinations of emotional, moral, and epistemological expectations.
Eda Kalmre and Liisi Laineste write about the cult of president Putin and the media behaviour related to the recent rumours concerning Putin’s disappearance from the public eye during a ten-day period in March 2015. The analysis of the data obtained from global news coverage and from social media sheds light on the inner workings of rumour and humour in social media and its effect on the dissemination and content of folklore.
Amandine Regamey writes about a very influential story, a rumour and contemporary legend, which accompanies all military conflicts provoked by Russia. The article explores the different aspects of a war legend about women-snipers, which was born among soldiers, was embodied in fiction and popular culture, and was used in Russian official propaganda.
Mari-Liis Madisson in her article explicates how the leakages concerning the details of the top-secret United States government mass surveillance programme PRISM were contextualised in the Estonian public information space. The Snowden affair received strong public feedback as it touched the cornerstone of contemporary identities – the right for free Internet.
This issue is supplemented by two articles from the editorial board. Antti Lindfors explores the notions of performativity and performance in digital environments from the combined perspective of linguistic anthropology and folkloristics. He analyses two different cases of digital communication, the first manifesting an instance of everyday SMS messaging between two friends, the second concerning the so-called Per-looks media event that took place in Finland in October 2012.
Annikki Kaivola-Bregenhøj’s article is dedicated to riddles and humour. She argues that riddles exist in a performance context in which all the participants want to enjoy the game. The situation simultaneously involves both entertainment and humiliation, because riddles are intended to mislead the listener.
The news section of the issue presents a book review and overviews of different conferences.

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