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CITAP News

Event – Victor Ray on Critical Race Theory: Why it Matters & Why You Should Care

Victor Ray Friday, September 23 at 11:00am Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall Victor Ray is the F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Criminology and African American Studies at the University of Iowa and a … Continued

Event – Nancy Leong: Capitalizing on Identity in Public Life

Nancy Leong Thursday, October 6 at 3:00pm Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall Nancy Leong is a Professor of Law & William M. Beaney Memorial Research Chair at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She has published extensively … Continued

Event – Senior Researcher Francesca Tripodi’s Booktalk

Dr. Francesca Tripodi presents The Propagandists’ Playbook with a Q&A featuring Victor Ray Thurday, September 22 at 3:00pm Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall The Propagandists’ Playbook peels back the layers of the right-wing media manipulation machine to reveal why … Continued

Announcing the 2022-23 CITAP affiliate community

The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) is pleased to welcome its 2022-2023 cohort of faculty, postdoctoral, professional, and graduate student affiliates. This year’s affiliates represent institutions spanning the Research Triangle and the globe, ranging from North Carolina … Continued

Announcing the Bulletin of Technology & Public Life

Today, we’re excited to launch the Bulletin of Technology and Public Life! Built on PubPub’s open-source platform, the Bulletin is an online library of research on mis- and disinformation, platforms, networks, infrastructure, and political processes. We hope that the Bulletin … Continued

image of an eye peeking through a round hole, surrounded by rays of orange

Francesca Tripodi on anti-immigration YouTube networks

Define American recently released a new report, “’Immigration Will Destroy Us’ and Other Talking Points.” It describes how popular anti-immigration YouTube videos frame the issue and their influence on offline conversations and perceptions. One section, co-authored by Francesca Tripodi, Shauna … Continued

collage of portraits representing the faculty and postdoctoral affiliate community

Join CITAP: Call for 2022-23 affiliate community!

The Center for Information, Technology, & Public Life (CITAP) is accepting applications for research affiliates for the 2022-2023 academic year. The affiliate program allows CITAP to support and promote excellent research that’s aligned with our own research topics and values, … Continued

Event – Catherine Knight Steele

Catherine Knight Steele Thursday, May 5 at 3:30pm Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall Catherine Knight Steele is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland – College Park and the author of Digital Black Feminism. Dr. Steele … Continued

Event – Jonathan Ong on the politics and ethics of representing ‘the Trolls’

Jonathan Ong The Politics and Ethics of Representing ‘the Trolls’: Disinformation Research in the Shadows Thursday, April 21 at 3:30pm Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall How should disinformation researchers represent perpetrators and social media bad actors? Drawing from two … Continued

Event – André Brock On Race and Technoculture

André Brock Thursday, April 7 at 3:30pm Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall André Brock (@docdre) is an Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media & Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Brock is one of the … Continued

Image by Bryon Lippincott on Flickr - image of a boat docked in Thailand

How mis- and disinformation spread in Asian diasporas

The bulk of research on mis- and disinformation studies English-language cases and communities—but we know that identity plays an important role in how we consume, interpret, and share information. In a piece for the HKS Misinformation Review, Sarah Nguyen, Rachel … Continued

Photo of a QAnon protest, centered on a sign that reads "Please research the truth! Stand up 4 the truth! we R here 4 the rights of all"

How QAnon constructs alternate facts

How does QAnon build and elaborate on its core theory? Alice Marwick and William Partin released a preprint of “Constructing Alternative Facts: Populist Expertise and the QAnon Conspiracy,” exploring QAnon as a participatory culture and digging into how Anons build … Continued

New York Times illustration of a crowd with a cluster of red droplets spreading across the group

Zeynep Tufekci on Covid what-ifs

As the Covid pandemic enters its third year, Zeynep Tufekci looked back at the lessons of the past two years for The New York Times. To examine these questions is to uncover a brutal truth: Much suffering was avoidable, again … Continued

still photo from Daniel Johnson's television interview with ABC News

Daniel Johnson on Ukraine as the “most documented war”

CITAP student affiliate Daniel Johnson spoke with ABC News about the role of social media in documenting the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the unprecedented speed of information updates. “For the first time in history, a large-scale account of war … Continued

Event – The craigslist ethic: A web 1.0 vision of online democracy

Jessa Lingel The craigslist ethic: A web 1.0 vision of online democracy Thursday, March 10 at 3:30pm Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall A growing number of tech insiders are raising doubts about the long-term consequences of the mainstream internet, … Continued

CITAP is hiring a project coordinator

Come help connect CITAP’s amazing research to audiences, convene our research community, and build out policies and processes for a growing new center! CITAP is seeking a communications and project coordinator to support our work: we conduct original research and … Continued

Alaska, Colorado, & Virginia enact sponsorship disclosure requirements for online political ads

(Originally posted by the Center for Media Law & Policy) In partnership with the UNC Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP), the Center for Media Law and Policy has been researching and summarizing state laws that impose disclosure … Continued

Illustration of two hands circling abstract shapes

Tressie McMillan Cottom on crypto

In her New York Times column, Tressie McMillan Cottom explored cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and their current appeal. The Strange Allure of the Blockchain – the series starts with a summary of the blockchain and its widespread popularity: What fascinates … Continued

a display of disinformation messages before the House Intelligence Committee, including a post from the Blacktivist account on Facebook

Deen Freelon on Racialized Disinformation

ABC News covered how extremists target Black communities with disinformation designed to reduce their political voice and trust in institutions. The piece drew in part on Deen Freelon’s work: The Russian trolls that spread disinformation during the 2016 election, as … Continued

Screenshot of a Boston Globe headline about Mayor Wu's use of social media

Daniel Kreiss on the Personalization of Politics

Daniel Kreiss spoke with The Boston Globe about Mayor Michelle Wu’s use of Twitter in office and how it illustrates a broader trend in politics and social media. “What social media does is give politicians access to audiences in a … Continued

a screenshot of the interview on Soundcloud

Francesca Tripodi on the Capitol Riot

Francesca Tripodi and affiliate Rebecca Lewis spoke with Josh Braun about the January 6, 2020 attack on the U.S. Capitol and how the riot changes our understanding of media effects. What you’ll see, from Bill O’Reilly all the way up … Continued

Talk: The Free Speech Industry: How the Internet Commodifies Freedom

Mary Anne Franks The Free Speech Industry: How the Internet Commodifies Freedom Thursday, February 3 at 3:30pm Freedom Forum Conference Center, Carroll Hall From the earliest days of the commercial Internet, techno-libertarians asserted that cyberspace was the true home of … Continued

neon sign of a zero "likes" icon

Shannon McGregor on Deplatforming

On “Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins,” broadcast by WFAE, Shannon McGregor joined NPR tech correspondent Shannon Bond and Check My Ads co-founder Nandini Jammi to talk about social media companies’ use of deplatforming users who violate their policies. These social … Continued

portrait of Zeynep Tufekci with the logo for the Ezra Klein Show

Zeynep Tufekci on pandemic policy

The New York Times‘s Ezra Klein interviewed Zeynep Tufekci about Omicron, vaccination, and public policy responses to Covid. They dug into the question of policy failures and missed opportunities in responding to the pandemic: So there’s a world in which … Continued

Daniel Kreiss on responding to January 6

Writing on Medium, Daniel Kreiss reflects on what researchers must do differently after January 6, 2021. Only by acknowledging that January 6th was political violence, with political objectives, can we start to address the underlying tensions in our political community. … Continued

Event: The Capitol Coup One Year Later

January 6 & 7, 2022 The University of North Carolina’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) and George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics (IDDP) invite you to join them for The Capital Coup One Year … Continued

Media Frames in The White House Newsletter

In a new article for Information, Communication, and Society, Francesca Tripodi and Yuanye Ma reveal the important role electoral communication plays in framing current events and the extent to which email is an essential node in the right-wing media ecosystem. By … Continued

An image of the NiemanLab site with the headline "Both sides when there's only one"

Shannon McGregor on covering threats to democracy

Writing for the NiemanLab’s predictions for journalism in 2022, Shannon McGregor and Carolyn Schmitt look at the challenges the media face in covering threats to democracy. A democracy-centered frame values journalists who call anti-democratic acts what they are — and … Continued

What Comes After Disinformation Studies?

ICA Pre-Conference: What Comes After Disinformation Studies? Wednesday, May 25, 2022 The médialab at Science Po, Paris, France 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, Room Leroy-Beaulieu Virtual participation will be available Introduction The title of this pre-conference, “What Comes After Disinformation Studies?”, is … Continued

Navigating Conflict in Democratic Social Movements

Conflict and harm are inevitable within democratic social movements. In a pair of columns for Interactions by the Association for Computing Machinery, Rachel Kuo and her coauthors explore the role endings and dissolutions play in research and social organizing. In … Continued

Facebook, Google, and the myth of neutrality in political advertising

Bridget Barrett’s new research reveals for the first time that Facebook and Google are the central players in digital political advertising – and they’re hardly neutral content platforms. Her research uses Federal Election Commission data to show just how central … Continued

Explaining anti-CRT campaigns in Scientific American

In a new opinion piece in Scientific American, CITAP faculty Daniel Kreiss, Alice Marwick, and Francesca Tripodi describe how political campaigns against critical race theory (CRT) continue a long tradition of linking racial justice movements to communism as a form … Continued


Popular Opinions

Media outlets regularly seek expert insights from CITAP researchers and affiliates. Click the links below for stories and analyses featuring their research and commentary.

A roundtable on Trump vs social media
Columbia Journalism Review (June 2020)

CITAP’s Daniel Kreiss, Shannon McGregor, and Bridget Barrett were among a panel of experts invited to discuss the ongoing war between the president and social media platforms. You can also read individual interviews with Kreiss, McGregor, and Barrett by clicking the links below:

Bridget Barrett on Trump vs social media
Daniel Kreiss on Trump vs social media
Shannon McGregor on Trump vs social media

I Can’t Breathe: Braving Tear Gas in a Pandemic
The Atlantic (May 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci discusses how the use of teargas – a counterproductive crowd-control tactic – could make the COVID-19 outbreak worse.

Free Speech Project: Should We Think Twice Before Limiting Political Advocacy?
New America (June 2020)

Daniel Kreiss joins other experts to discuss the promise and peril of regulating online political speech in our democracy.

Why George Floyd’s violent death has moved young Irish people
The Irish Times (June 2020)

This opinion pieces cites Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci to help explain how the internet and social media enable large protests to materialize in a matter of hours.

Trump Is Doing All of This for Zuckerberg
The Atlantic (May 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci explains why Trump isn’t going to repeal Section 230 or take any real action to curb the power of the major social-media companies.

Trump and Zuckerberg Both Want You to Believe Facebook, a Private Company, Is the Public Square
Mother Jones (May 2020)

David Ardia is quoted in this article examining Trump’s recent executive order targeting social media platforms.

This Social-Media Mob Was Good
The Atlantic (May 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci argues that the online rage directed at Amy Cooper could prove to be a powerful deterrent against the weaponizing of police against black people.

Deen Freelon on why black trolls matter
Lawfare Podcast (May 2020)

Deen Freelon talks with Lawfare’s Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic about the interaction of race and disinformation and about the effectiveness of Russia’s Internet Research Agency.

How Hong Kong Did It
The Atlantic (May 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci explains that Hong Kong’s nearly universal mask wearing and other measures that helped keep the spread and death-toll of COVID-19 low were coordinated through the infrastructure and communication lines established during the city’s 2019 protests.

Over 100 health leaders to governors: Require masks to help contain the coronavirus
USA Today (April 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci explains why she joined with over 100 experts – including two Nobel laureates, the editors-in-chief of Nature and The Lancet, and medical and scientific leaders from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Texas – to sign an open letter to all U.S. governors, asking them to “require cloth masks to be worn in all public places, such as stores, transportation systems, and public buildings.

The Real Reason to Wear a Mask
The Atlantic (April 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci helps publicize research that shows even a cotton mask can reduce the number of virus particles emitted from people’s mouths by as much as 99 percent.

Twitter has more tools to use against Trump, if it chooses
Bangkok Post (May 2020)

Daniel Kreiss discusses the feud between Donald Trump and Twitter, and how both sides may ultimately benefit.

12 books on climate activism
Yale Climate Collections
(May 2020)

Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online, co-authored by Alice Marwick, is included on this list of books offering new visions for American politics, fresh strategies for action on climate change, and guidance on recognizing online disinformation.

Twitter-Donald Trump clash intensifies political misinformation battle ahead of elections
Deccan Herald (May 2020)

Daniel Kreiss comments on Twitter’s recent decisions to enforce its content policies in relation to Donald Trump’s tweets.

Social Media Usage Is At An All-Time High. That Could Mean A Nightmare For Democracy
WGBH News (May 2020)

A paper by Alice Marwick is cited in this story on the growing influence of social media and its implications for the 2020 elections.

The WHO Shouldn’t Be a Plaything for Great Powers
The Atlantic (April 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci explains the danger of defunding the World Health Organization despite its shortcomings in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access to quality social media data could make a difference in fighting future pandemics
Washington Times
(April 2020)

Deen Freelon and Eli Lehrer, President of R Street, advocate for social media companies to standardize their data formats and make data more accessible so that researchers can glean greater insights into human behavior, particularly in response to pandemics.

Keep the Parks Open
The Atlantic (April 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci discusses the medium and long term harm closing public parks could bring to society.

It’s Trump v Biden in the US presidential race, and digital strategy matters more than ever
ABC News Australia (April 2020)

Daniel Kreiss explains how digital advertising, especially micro-targeting, could influence the upcoming presidential election.

“Don’t Believe the COVID-19 Models”
The Atlantic (April 2020)

Zeynep Tufekci offers an analysis of the models about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bernie Sanders Is Out—but He Transforms Campaigning for Good
Wired (April 2020)

Daniel Kreiss discusses the changes to politic brought by Bernie Sander’s campaigning strategy of using digital technology.

It’s Trump v Biden in the US presidential race, and digital strategy matters more than ever
ABC Radio National (April 2020)

Daniel Kreiss shared his thoughts on the technology-intensive and micro-targeting strategy employs by candidates in the upcoming presidential campaign.

Democratic Presidential Campaigns Adapt To Coronavirus Concerns
NPR (March 2020)

Daniel Kreiss, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, discusses how the changing landscape of political campaign is affecting candidates’ ability to rally the crowd and create community.

The Man Behind Trump’s Facebook Juggernaut
The New Yorker (March 2020)

Daniel Kreiss, UNC Hussman School of Journalis and Media Associate Professor, weighs in on the topic of Cambridge Analytica and platform embeds’ role in shaping campaign communication.

It Wasn’t Just Trump Who Got It Wrong
The Atlantic (March 2020)

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci argues that countries, organizations, and people failed to promptly respond to the COVID-19 threat because we struggle to think about complex systems and their dynamics.

Focus Carolina: Daniel Kreiss
Chapelboro (March 2020)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss discusses his research on the ways digital communications and social media platforms are used to reach voters during elections.

Why Telling People They Didn’t Need Masks Backfired
New York Times (March 2020)

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci explains why telling people they didn’t need masks to protect themselves from coronavirus COVID-19 misfired and possibly even fueled hoarding.

Zeynep Tufekci: How Do We Build Systems of Trust Online?
NPR (March 2020)

Zeynep Tufecki, Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), talks about information privacy and the need to build institutions of trust into the digital infrastructure.

Bernie TV: How The Sanders Campaign’s Live Videos Help It Build Community
NPR (Feb. 2020)

Daniel Kreiss, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, offers his opinion on the live streaming component behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign and how it pushed Sanders to the forefront of the race for the nomination.

How the Coronavirus Revealed Authoritarianism’s Fatal Flaw
The Atlantic (Feb. 2020)

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci argues that China’s increased use of surveillance and censorship may have prevented its leader from recognizing the Coronavirus threat until it became an international crisis.

Bridget Barrett and Daniel Kreiss on the Chaos of Social Media Advertising
Lawfare Podcast (Feb. 2020)

Bridget Barrett and Daniel Kreiss of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and CITAP discuss their work to provide a comprehensive account of different social media platform’s policies.

Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S.
Scientific American (Feb. 2020)

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci offers practical tips to help people prepare and explains the importance of “flattening the curve.”

Why you get campaign texts calling you the wrong name
Quartz (Feb. 2020)

Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss discusses technology and data quality in political campaigns.

The Lawfare Podcast: Bridget Barrett and Daniel Kreiss on the Chaos of Social Media Advertising
Lawfare (Feb. 2020)

Daniel Kreiss, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, discusses policies surrounding social media platform in context of political ads.

Facebook banned bogus NC news page. But it’s only a droplet in ‘tidal wave’ of fakery.
The News & Observer (Feb. 2020)

Communication Assistant Professor Alice Marwick offers insight about the rapid growth of the fake NC news page on Facebook.

Facebook page that features Triad news is followed by 50,000. Only one problem: the news is fake
Greensboro News & Record (Feb. 2020)

Communication Assistant Professor Alice Marwick shares her experience reviewing a Facebook page that posted misleading and false news about the Triad area.

Misinformation and fake news: how to determine fact from fiction this election season
The Daily Tar Heel (Feb. 2020)

Deen Freelon, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, talks about the motivations behind misinformation and how to identify fact from fiction.

Who Needs the Russians? Don’t blame shadowy foreign hackers for the chaos in Iowa. Blame Shadow’s caucus app
The Atlantic (Feb. 2020)

Zeynep Tufecki, Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), offers a detailed analysis of what went wrong in Iowa and outlines a more secure route for reporting results.

Team Bernie isn’t fazed by the bros
The Atlantic (Jan. 2020)

Deen Freelon, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, talks about political candidates and their varying amounts of online support.

Facebook again refuses to ban political ads, even false ones
The New York Times (Jan. 2020)

Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss talks about why Facebook and Twitter shouldn’t be making political advertising guideline decisions for their platforms. CNBC also spoke with Kreiss about this issue and his related research.

The imperial powers of the tech universe
The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 2019)

Zeynep Tufekci, UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor, discusses how social media platforms have become “de facto sovereign entities.”

Facebook’s ad tools subsidize partisanship, research shows. And campaigns may not even know it.
The Washington Post (Dec. 2019)

Daniel Kreiss, Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, weighs in on a study that found that the technologies Facebook uses for advertising may be more responsible for the country’s polarization than previously understood, research which he says “breaks new ground.”

What’s ‘context collapse’? Understanding it can mean a more fulfilling online life
Rewire (Dec. 2019)

Communication Assistant Professor Alice Marwick discusses context collapse and navigating communicating with different groups in your life online.

The toxins we carry
Columbia Journalism Review (Dec. 2019)

Communication Assistant Professor Alice Marwick talks about the societal and technological forces behind disinformation.

How can social media pave the way for better political speech?
WUNC, “The State of Things” (Dec. 2019)

Daniel Kreiss, Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, talks about issues related to political ads and social media on WUNC’s show “The State of Things.”

Can algorithms be trusted?
BBC News World Service, “The Real Story” (Nov. 2019)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci talks about algorithms and how they are shaping the modern world.

How Trump is using Facebook to amplify his fight against impeachment
VOX (Nov. 2019)

VOX quotes Daniel Kreiss, Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor, on the effect of micro-targeting political ads.

Four ways to fix social media’s political ads problem – without banning them
The New York Times (Nov. 2019)

Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss and Matt Perault, the director of Duke University’s Center on Science & Technology Policy, share four changes that social media platforms could make regarding political ads that would both help stem abuse and instill more confidence in election integrity.

The Hong Kong protesters aren’t driven by hope
The Atlantic (Nov. 2019)

Zeynep Tufekci, UNC School of Library and Information Science Associate Professor, writes about the Hong Kong protests and conversations she’s had with protesters there.

What Does Twitter’s Ban on Political Ads Mean for Platform Governance?
CIGI (Nov. 2019)

Daniel Kreiss, a Hussman School of Journalism and Media associate professor, were among seven experts sharing their opinion on Twitter’s new policy of banning political ad.

The pressure is now on Facebook to ban political ads, too
The Associated Press (Oct. 2019)
Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate

Professor Daniel Kreiss speaks with The Associated Press about how social media platforms could allow political ads yet keep them less misleading. Kreiss also spoke with The Guardian and Yahoo Finance about the decision.

See, Facebook? Twitter proves you can ban political ads
Wired (Oct. 2019)
Daniel Kreiss, a Hussman School of Journalism and

Media associate professor, discusses Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s recent announcement that the social media platform will soon ban all political advertisements.

How Aldous Huxley prophesied the Big Data nightmare
Salon (Oct. 2019)

This excerpt from UCLA Professor Ramesh Srinivasan’s new book, “Beyond the Valley: How Innovators From Around the Word are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow,” quotes Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss and Kreiss’s own book, “Prototype Politics.”

In Hong Kong, Which Side is Technology On?
Wired (Oct. 2019)

Zeynep Tufekci, UNC School of Information and Library Science associate professor, writes about the techno-evolutionary arms race between the authorities and protesters in the Hong Kong protest.

Are China’s Tantrums Signs of Strength or Weakness?
The Atlantic (Oct. 2019)

Zeynep Tufekci, UNC School of Information and Library Science associate professor, writes about China’s reasons for demanding significant censorship from Western companies.

Trump is winning the online war
The New York Times (Oct. 2019)

This New York Times’ op-ed quotes Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss on digital politics and cites Kreiss’s work with University of Utah Assistant Professor Shannon McGregor on political advertising.

Zeynep Tufekci: Get a red team to ensure AI is ethical
Verdict (Oct. 2019)

Verdict writes about a presentation last week from

Zeynep Tufekci, a School of Information and Library Science associate professor, at Hitachi Vantara’s Next conference in Las Vegas

Facebook won’t delete posts from politicians even if they break its rules
Business Insider (Sept. 2019)

Business Insider quotes Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss on whether Facebook should be making decisions as to what political speech is acceptable.

All I wanted was a one-trick pony
Wired (Sept. 2019)

Zeynep Tufekci, a UNC School of Information and Library Science associate professor, writes about how maybe it’s our phones that need detoxing more than we do.

Focus Carolina: Alice Marwick
Chapelboro (Sept. 2019)

Alice Marwick, a founding member of Carolina’s Center for Information, Technology and Public Life, discusses fake news and why it is created.

Media Front: USA
BBC, “The Compass”

Daniel Kreiss, a UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media associate professor, talks about how technology platforms shape politics.

To help Trump raise even more millions in 2020, the GOP is copying Democratic fundraising tools
Fast Company (Sept. 2019)

UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss talks about political fundraising tools.

We need a digital infrastructure that serves humanity
Berkeley Talks (Aug. 2019)

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci discusses hate speech research and the influence of artificial intelligence in her keynote address for UC-Berkeley’s 2019 Digital Humanities Fair.

Altruism Still Fuels the Web. Businesses Love to Exploit It
WIRED (Aug. 2019)

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci examines the benefits and pitfalls of open source projects.

Trump campaign ads that claim invasion at the Southern border have many outraged
KCBS Radio, San Francisco Bay area (Aug. 2019)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss is a guest on KCBS talking about Facebook ads recently used by the President Trump re-election campaign

Why online communities that breed hate and violence are so hard to control
PBS NewsHour (Aug. 2019)

Communication Assistant Professor Alice Marwick speaks with PBS NewsHour about online extremism and what technology companies can do to combat it.

UNC professor studies online extremism as hate groups on the rise in NC
WRAL (Aug. 2019)

Communication Assistant Professor Alice Marwick talks about online extremism and how misinformation, disinformation, and fake news have become more widespread and problematic since 2016.

Are Google and Facebook censoring conservatives? The problem is more widespread than that
The Washington Post (Aug. 2019)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss and University of Utah Assistant Professor Shannon McGregor write about their research on whether social media platforms censor certain political views.

New Netflix documentary on Cambridge Analytica doubles as a mystery
The Wall Street Journal (July 2019)

Daniel Kreiss, UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor, talks about whether Cambridge Analytica’s methods had an impact on the 2016 presidential election.

The internet has made dupes – and cynics – of us all
Wired (June 2019)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci explains how the proliferation of online fakes and frauds are quickly turning the internet into a “low-trust society,” which can have serious repercussions for people and businesses.

Focus Carolina: Deen Freelon
Chapelboro (June 2019)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Deen Freelon talks about his work studying how citizens express their political opinions through social media.

Facebook curbs incentives to sell political ads ahead of 2020 election
The Wall Street Journal (May 2019)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss talks about tech companies and political ads; the article also cites Kreiss’s related research.

The existential crisis plaguing online extremism researchers
Wired (May 2019)

Communication department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick discusses the current state of researching online extremism.

Think You’re Discreet Online? Think Again
New York Times (April 2019)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci discusses the pros and cons of data inference, how such tools can aid public health, but also impede an individual’s ability to get a job, insurance, housing, and more.

‘One of New Zealand’s darkest days’: The Christchurch mosque attack and what we know so far
KPCC – Southern California Public Radio, “AirTalk” (March 2019)

Communication department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick is a guest on “AirTalk” discussing the recent shootings in New Zealand.

The New Zealand shooting shows how YouTube and Facebook spread hate and violent images — yet again
The Washington Post (March 2019)

Communication department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick talks about how large technology companies have a responsibility to govern their platforms.

Why people post fake news
Vice (March 2019)

Communication department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick talks about why people share fake information. Vice also writes about her related research.

Machines Shouldn’t Have to Spy On Us to Learn
Wired (March 2019)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci examines the need to stop excessive data collection practices for machine learning (ML), and to develop privacy-preserving ML methods.

The Imperfect Truth About Finding Facts in a World of Fakes
Wired (Feb. 2019)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci discusses how the loss of credibility in the online era has created a need for digital verification by means of cryptographic digital signing or blockchain databases.

The tech industry’s 2020 Trump trap
Politico (Feb. 2019)

Politico speaks with UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss about Facebook and Google’s sales strategy and cites his research on the role tech companies had in helping the Trump campaign in the last presidential election cycle.

In a New York Times profile, Rep. Steve King once again defends white nationalism
The Washington Post (Jan. 2019)

The Washington Post quotes UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss on how “the face of white supremacy has changed in important ways” that allowed the idea to become more publicly visible.

Attack of the Zombie Baby Monitors
Scientific American (Jan. 2019)
UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS)

Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci explains how IoT devices are vulnerable against a program called Mirai, which enables hackers to chain millions of devices into a botnet that can target a website and render it inaccessible.

An Avalanche of Speech Can Bury Democracy
Politico (Sept. 2018)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci explains how the excess of information, made possible by digital tools and social media platforms, distracts people from the important information.

The Facebook Dilemma
PBS Frontline
(Oct. 2018)

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci is prominently featured in the two-part documentary The Facebook Dilemma by Frontline PBS. She discusses the controversies surrounding Facebook’s role in the election, the leak of user data, and the violence triggered through content on its platform.
Tufekci has repeatedly raised alarms about Facebook’s business model and its impact on social and democratic institutions. In the spring of 2018, she wrote a analyses for WIRED Magazine titled “Why Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Aplogy Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook,” and an op-ed for the New York Times titled “We Already Know How to Protect Ourselves From Facebook.” Even before the Cambridge Analytica debacle, she voiced concerns in interviews and editorials, including “Facebook’s Ad Scandal Isn’t a ‘Fail,’ It’s a Feature from September 2017.

The Election Has Already Been Hacked
New York Times (Nov. 2018)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci argues that even if no actual foreign or domestic tampering occurs, the 2018 mid-term election has been compromised because so many people now doubt the legitimacy of the process.

Podcasts help extremists get their message out
CNN (Nov. 2018)

Communication department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick discusses how some individuals use podcasts to spread hateful messages.

‘Success’ on YouTube still means a life of poverty
Bloomberg (Feb. 2018)

Communication department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick shares the disparity between incomes of individuals on network TV and on YouTube.

How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump
MIT Technology Review (Aug. 2018)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci explains how digital technologies went from instruments for spreading democracy to weapons for attacking it.

‘Weaponized ad technology’: Facebook’s moneymaker gets a critical eye
The New York Times (Aug. 2018)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss talks about the downside to overcorrecting too much when it comes to political microtargeting.

Facebook, Google and Twitter shine light on campaign ads — but only so far
NBC News (Sept. 2018)

School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss talks about Facebook ads and related loopholes.

The biggest spender of political ads on Facebook? President Trump
The New York Times (July 2018)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss shares why he thinks a recent New York University study is an “important initial analysis” of Facebook’s political ad database.

Facebook is Trying to Hire News Credibility Specialists
Business Insider (June 2018)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss discusses the benefits and challenges of Facebook’s plans to hire credibility specialists to evaluate news postings.

The Supreme Court and Sharia law: How a fake-news story spreads
Politico (May 2018)

Research by School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss is cited in this story exploring why people share fake-news online.

Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation: Confuse Them at Your Peril
Forbes (April 2018)
Research by School of Media and Journalism

Associate Professor Daniel Kreiss is used to help identify important differentiations in terms associated with digital transformation.

How will Google’s innovation continue beyond its 20th year?
The Conversation (Sept. 2018)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Dean Gary Marchionini writes about the origins of Google, current controversy about the company’s practices and where the company could head in the future.

How #HimToo became the anti #MeToo of the Kavanaugh hearings
Wired (Sept. 2018)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Deen Freelon shares how a hashtag, #HimToo, has shifted over time.

Two charts showing how the mainstream media gets minorities wrong
Fast Company (Feb. 2018)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Deen Freelon talks about research that looked into the sentiment of tweets about media coverage by different communities.

It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech
Wired (Jan. 2018)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Associate Professor Zeynep Tufekci explains that new censorship strategies often include the spread of disinformation, bots with intentions to troll and distract, and harassment campaigns. (Jan. 2018)

How to fix Facebook? We asked 9 experts
The New York Times (Oct. 2017)

Communication department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick discusses why Facebook should let users sort their news feeds chronologically.

Red pilled: My bizarre week using the alt-right’s vision of the internet
Wired (Sept. 2017)

Communications department Assistant Professor Alice Marwick shares how the way the alt-right recruits individuals is not that different from other groups.

Twitter finds meaning (and madness) under Donald Trump
The Ringer (July 2017)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Deen Freelon discusses how Donald Trump has changed Twitter.

Mark Cuban says Twitter ‘reaches only 15% of the population’
PolitiFact Texas (July 2017)

UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Deen Freelon helps PolitiFact Texas discern whether a recent comment by Mark Cuban is true.

Parental Concerns: Social Media Posts Create a Digital Footprint for Children
WRAL (Feb. 2016)

UNC School of Information and Library Science Dean Gary Marchionini and alum Evan Carroll discuss issues related to parents putting images of their children online.


Press Coverage

Francesca Tripodi joining UNC SILS and CITAP

Sociologist and media scholar Francesca Tripodi will join the faculty of the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) as an assistant professor, effective July 1. Her research examines the relationship between social media, political partisanship, and democratic participation, revealing how Google and Wikipedia are manipulated for political gains. In addition to her appointment with SILS, she will be a senior research professor with CITAP. Click to read more.

Alice Marwick awarded Carnegie Fellowship

CITAP Researcher and Associate Professor of Communication Alice Marwick has been awarded a prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. Marwick will use the $200,000 of research funding to study narratives of online radicalization, asking how and why people come to believe fringe, false, or extremist viewpoints that they encounter on social media platforms. Click to read more.

Author, professor, and sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom joining SILS and CITAP

Author, professor, sociologist, and National Book Award finalist Tressie McMillan Cottom will join the faculty of the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) as an associate professor, effective July 1. McMillan Cottom will be affiliated with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) at UNC-Chapel Hill. Click to read more.

New Carolina research center to address 21st century questions on digital information

With $5 million in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Carolina will establish the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life. Drawing on some of the world’s leading experts in information science, media and journalism, communication and law, CITAP will answer defining questions about the changing nature of society and politics in the digital age. Click to read more.

The Advantage of Understanding: Equipping Students and Society to Confront Misinformation

by Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Interim Chancellor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bringing Research up to Speed with the Challenges of the Digital Era

by Zeynep Tufekci, SILS Associate Professor

Outside Press Coverage

What’s the line between news and misinformation? UNC is working to find out

Russ Bowen (WNCN) Jul 31, 2019 – How do those articles and posts that seem to fall in line with a person’s values and ideals find them on social media? How about the fake stories meant to prey on a person’s fears? Who’s keeping track of all this? The newly formed and funded UNC Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life is starting to study how it works and how to better control it. Dr. Zeynep Tufekci and Dr. Deen Freelon are helping to lead the effort at UNC.

New UNC Center to Research Technology’s Impact on Democracy

Brighton McConnell (WCHL) Jul 24, 2019 – The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life will look to discover empirical numbers on ways technologies impact and interact with society. Topics like fake news, the sales of data to advertisers, social media influence on political elections and the entire information environment are all key issues that will be researched.

Researching Democracy in the Digital Age

 Lindsay McKenzie (Inside Higher Ed) July 24, 2019 – Leaders at the Knight Foundation, a nonprofit organization best known for supporting journalism and the media, this week announced $50 million in funding for 11 universities and research institutions to support research exploring how social media is influencing democracy. Half of the funding will be used to create new cross-disciplinary research centers at Carnegie Mellon University, George Washington University, New York University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Washington.

New UNC center to study information in the digital age

Will Michaels (WUNC) Jul 24, 2019 – School of Information and Library Science Dean and Professor Gary Marchionini discusses the new Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life.

The Technology 202: Knight Foundation invests $50 million into research on tech’s impact on democracy 

Cat Zakrzewski (Washington Post) July 22, 2019 – A nonprofit with deep ties to the newspaper industry is investing $50 million into research on technology’s impact on democracy — from countering online disinformation to how companies such as Facebook and YouTube impact public opinion… The foundation plans to stand up long-term research centers on the intersection of technology and politics at five universities: Carnegie Mellon University, George Washington University, New York University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Washington. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is also investing in several of the centers.

UNC to launch research focused on effects of social media, ‘fake news’ 

Seth Gulledge (Triangle Business Journal) July 22, 2019 – As social media becomes a dominant source of news and information, new funding will allow UNC-Chapel Hill to study the impacts of the growing cultural phenomenon.

Fake news?: New UNC Chapel Hill Center plans to investigate, keep it real 

WRAL Tech Wire July 22, 2019 – Conspiracy theories, hoaxes, rumors, fake news. “We’re in a time where anyone can create information and put it out on the internet,” said Alice Marwick, UNC Chapel Hill’s assistant professor of communication.

Counteracting fake news and privacy invasions: UNC center set to examine digital life 

Peston Lennon (Daily Tar Heel) July 22, 2019 – In a digital landscape ripe with questions about privacy, regulations for social media platforms and uncertainty about how consumer data is being used, UNC established the Center for Information, Technology and Public Life — hoping to gather empirical data on some of the 21st century’s underlying phenomena.

Knight Foundation to invest $50 million to strengthen democracy in the digital age

David Neal (Miami Herald) July 22, 2019 – The Knight Foundation will give $5 million each to the following universities that are creating cross-disciplinary research programs analyzing the impact that social media and big data are having on democracy and politics: Carnegie Mellon; George Washington; NYU; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the University of Washington.