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Recent Publications

a diagram connecting scientific motivation to designing data collection or defining the use of existing data to construct measures, test, explore, and create analysis.

Measurements that matter

How should social science make use of the vast new stores of data generated by modern technologies? Last week in Nature, Deen Freelon and his co-authors David Lazer, Eszter Hargittai, Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, Kevin Munger, Katherine Ognyanova, & Jason Radford grappled … Continued

New publication: Ms. Categorized

Women are disproportionately subject to erroneous nominations for deletion from Wikipedia. Dr. Francesca Tripodi gathered data on articles that were flagged for removal under the site’s notability requirements but were ultimately found to be notable and not deleted. She found … Continued

Morally Motivated Networked Harassment as Normative Reinforcement

This week, Alice Marwick published a new piece in Social Media & Society. “Morally Motivated Networked Harassment as Normative Reinforcement” explores how communities band together to reinforce their shared moral norms by harassing perceived violations of those norms. She sums … Continued

Cover of CDS Syllabus

Launching the Critical Disinformation Syllabus

Many of the stories that pundits, journalists, and scholars tell about disinformation begin with the 2016 US presidential election and focus on the role of social media platforms in spreading and generating false content. At their worst, these narratives imply … Continued

Our approach

At CITAP, we recognize that effective analysis of technology platforms and information systems requires

  • A holistic approach grounded in history, society, culture, and politics
  • Analyzing how social differences—including race and ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual identity—shapes unequal information ecosystem dynamics
  • Prioritizing questions of power, institutions, and economic, social, cultural, and technological structures
  • Making clear foundational commitments to equality and justice

Research themes

Coding inequality

New technologies frequently recreate and reinvent historical inequalities. We explore the interplay of technology and bias and contextualize the effects of new platforms in light of broader social, economic, and political shifts. Our work on inequality includes research into “the boys’ club” in the political technology field, how “the hustle economy’s” definition of entrepreneurship represents a predatory form of inclusion for women of color.

Featured work

image of The Hustle Economy as displayed on the Dissent Magazine website
Tressie McMillan Cottom, “The Hustle Economy,” Dissent Magazine
Cover image of Recoding the Boys' Club book
Daniel Kreiss, Kirsten Adams, Jenni Ciesielski, Haley Fernandez, Kate Frauenfelder, Brinley Lowe, & Gabrielle Micchia, Recoding the Boys’ Club: The Experiences and Future of Women in Political Technology
image of Ms. Categorized paper as published at New Media & Society
Francesca Tripodi, “Ms. Categorized: Gender, notability, and inequality on Wikipedia,” New Media & Society

Networked publics

Social media enable new forms of collaboration and connection. We study how people come together, coordinate, organize, and move on- and offline. Research on digitally-organized protest movements, the origins and uses of hashtags for social movements, and the differences in how opposing political movements operate on social media paint a more complete picture of public life as it plays out online.

Featured work

Book cover of Twitter and Tear Gas by Zeynep Tufecki
Zeynep Tufekci, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest
Cover of the Beyond the Hashtags report
Deen Freelon, Charleton D. McIlwain, & Meredith D. Clark, “Beyond the Hashtags: #Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter, and the online struggle for offline justice”
Image of the "False Equivalencies" report as printed in Science Magazine
Deen Freelon, Alice Marwick, & Daniel Kreiss, “False Equivalencies: Online activism from left to right,” Science
Image of Morally Motivated Networked Harassment paper as printed in Social Media + Society
Alice Marwick, “Morally Motivated Networked Harassment as Normative Reinforcement,” Social Media + Society

Identity & disinformation

Social media amplifies content that triggers strong emotion, while political discourse increasingly appeals to audience identity. Our research examines how mis- and disinformation play on deeper social narratives.

Featured work

Cover of CDS Syllabus
Alice Marwick, Rachel Kuo, Shanice Cameron, & Moira Weigel, Critical Disinformation Studies: A Syllabus
Screen shot of "Americans are too Worried about Political Misinformation" as it was published on the Slate website
Shannon McGregor & Daniel Kreiss, “Americans Are Too Worried About Political Misinformation,” Slate.
Screen shot of the article "QAnon shows the age of alternative facts will not end with Trump" as published on the CJR website
Alice Marwick & Will Partin, “QAnon shows that the age of alternative facts will not end with Trump,” Columbia Journalism Review
Cover of the "Searching for Alternative Facts" report
Francesca Tripodi, “Searching for Alternative Facts: Analyzing Scriptural Inference in Conservative News Practices,” Data & Society

Platform Governance

Given the significant role social platforms play in politics and journalism, we consider how technology companies amplify and regulate user speech, set and enforce internal policies, and how these decisions shape public discourse.

Featured work

Illustration with U.S. map, computer, and web address.
CITAP Digital Politics resources
Image of "How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump" as published on the MIT Technology Review site
Zeynep Tufekci, “How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump,” MIT Technology Review
Screenshot of "The Arbiters of what our voters see" article as published
Daniel Kreiss & Shannon McGregor, “The ‘Arbiters of What Our Voters See’: Facebook and Google’s struggle with policy, process, and enforcement around political advertising,” Political Communication