Technology doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Neither does our research.

We research the intersection of technology platforms and democratic society. We analyze how social differences shape unequal dynamics in our information systems and prioritize questions of power. And that work produces insights that inform a digital future rooted in equality and justice.

The Private Is Political

A new book from CITAP principal investigator Alice Marwick considers how data aggregation and social media underscore the networked nature of privacy.

While we tend to think of privacy as an individual responsibility, “most online privacy violations are impossible for an individual to avoid,” and “our networks are only as safe as our chattiest contact.” Furthermore, privacy is unequally distributed, and the harms of privacy violation fall disproportionately on already-marginalized groups, including people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and the poor.


The Latest From CITAP


Call for Papers: Symposium on Misinformation & Marginalization

June 1, 2023
This symposium on Misinformation & Marginalization will explore global and comparative frames for mis- and disinformation studies that center marginalized perspectives .

Deen Freelon to join Penn; CITAP co-founder will become senior affiliate researcher

April 25, 2023
The CITAP community warmly congratulates our friend and colleague Professor Deen Freelon on his new appointment with the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School .

Shannon McGregor on TikTok scrutiny

March 22, 2023
“This is not distinct to social media, but because of the very quick rise of Americans and young Americans using TikTok, we’re seeing .

Alice Marwick on conspiracy beliefs and disinformation

March 21, 2023
Many people see conspiracy theories as participatory ways to be active in political and social systems from which they feel left out .

Recapping the NC News and Information Summit

March 17, 2023
Across sessions on covering elections, understanding the digital divide, and researching Hispanic and Latino communities’ news needs, conversations kept coming back around to power and .

Libération reviews The Propagandists’ Playbook

March 8, 2023
Keyword curation happens in France as well as in the United States .

Alice Marwick on ChatGPT and disinformation

March 2, 2023

Alice Marwick on social media authenticity

February 7, 2023
“What distinguishes internet celebrities from traditional celebrities is this idea that they’re authentic, that they’re more honest” .


A Review and Provocation: On Polarization and Platforms

April 20, 2023
Polarization is the necessary byproduct of the struggle to realize democracy in unequal societies .

#Politicalcommunicationsowhite: Race and Politics in Nine Communication Journals, 1991-2021

April 6, 2023
Understanding communication requires accounting for social and cultural difference, especially race and ethnicity .

“Too Soon” to Count? How Gender and Race Cloud Notability Considerations on Wikipedia

March 29, 2023
Wikipedia’s editors are more likely to consider you “notable” if you’re a white man .

Digital Trace Data Collection for Social Media Effects Research: APIs, Data Donation, and (Screen) Tracking

March 7, 2023
Digital trace data can change the study of misinformation, algorithmic bias, and well-being .

Inequities of Race, Place, and Gender Among the Communication Citation Elite, 2000–2019

February 17, 2023
Who are you citing? In communication studies, the most cited authors are skewed even more white and male than previously thought .

Libraries Comabating Disinformation: From the Front Line to the Long Game

January 1, 2023
The strategies you teach about search engine literacy might be out of date .

Privacy Without Power: What Privacy Research Can Learn from Surveillance Studies

December 7, 2022
You can’t understand privacy without understanding power .

The Institutional Capture of Abolitionist Dissent: Ending Genres of Police Science

November 11, 2022
Research can reproduce racial violence; here’s how not to do that .


Melanie Feinberg: Everyday Adventures with Unruly Data

To understand the power and pitfalls of data science, we must attend to the data itself, not merely the algorithms that manipulate it .

Bridget Barrett: Merchandizing Democracy

Who buys campaign merch? Why do campaigns partake in merchandizing? What sells? Most importantly, what else can we learn from today’s online marketplaces for .

Hakeem Jefferson: From Margin to Center

Studying race and inequality requires an approach that takes seriously the experiences, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of those who live on the margins of our .

ChatGPT in Context

What is ChatGPT? Where did it come from? What does it mean for science, scholarship, and public life? Join our interdisciplinary panel for a discussion .

Digital Cultures & Governance: Perspectives from the Global South

The Global South or the Majority World remains underrepresented and absent in discussions around Artificial Intelligence and data governance that are largely focused in high .

Elizabeth Dubois: When hate and harassment are just a part of the job

Thursday, January 19 at 3:30pm – Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall For many political journalists and health communicators, exposing themselves to hate, harassment .

Tamara K. Nopper: Crime Data and Policing Data as Open Data

Thursday, November 10 at 3:00pm – Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .

Nancy Leong: Capitalizing on Identity in Public Life

Thursday, October 6 at 3:00pm – Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .