Literature Review

“Vicious, Hateful, and Divisive” Partisans: Understanding and Countering Antidemocratic Political Polarization

The topic of American political partisanship and polarization has become a staple of both academic research and the political news cycle. A search for the word “polarization” in any major newspaper or news magazine turns up dozens of articles, op-eds, and think pieces either decrying the phenomenon or wholeheartedly endorsing it. We see it in family members at the dinner table, in our celebrities on Twitter, and in our politicians on the podium. Definitions may vary by field, by frame, and sometimes by convenience to an argument, but the consensus is this: Political polarization exists, and it’s increasing.

Essay Series

Measuring Media Accuracy

In this essay series, scholars probe the affordances and challenges of quantitative studies of media accuracy. Getting a clear sense of how accurate news media are across topics, time, and outlets can not only provide news producers and scholars an assessment of their own work, but can also give a more holistic picture of how (and whether) media consumers obtain the basic facts required for informed democratic citizenship.

Research Review

Image-Based Abuse: A Threat to Privacy, Safety, and Speech

Commonly misnamed “revenge porn,” image-based abuse is the non-consensual creation and distribution of private images. Much more than “one-off” attacks that cause hurt feelings, image-based abuse has become a broad effort to silence and shame people in public spaces. This literature review brings together relevant research from the fields of law, communication, psychology, and public health to explain how image-based abuse has become an ever-present threat to privacy, safety, and speech.

Analysis and Response Toolkit for Trust: Call for Contributors

When a contentious and complicated topic, like vaccine efficacy, arises in online conversations, how can health communicators de-escalate conflict, increase understanding, and build common ground? In a collaboration between Hacks/Hackers’ Analysis and Response Toolkit for Trust (ARTT) project, MediaWell is calling for scholars in relevant fields to contribute to a interdisciplinary research review on how to improve information exchanges and build trust, both online and off.

 

Article

Reflecting on the State of Digital Media Data Research

Researchers studying digital media data face a host of challenges. In this essay, researcher Josephine Lukito outlines the issues facing the field, including data access, storage, analysis, and ethical concerns, and outlines some recommendations for advancing the field.

Research Topics

  • Credibility and Trust

    How do populist politics and other anti-elite, anti-institutional movements intersect with new technologies and declining public trust in science and media?
  • Algorithms and Automation

    Researchers are exploring how disinformation campaigns use bots and automation tools, and how algorithms can encode and reproduce biases and ideologies.
  • Infrastructures and Methodologies

    The field of mis- and disinformation studies is comprised of a range of disciplines that bring different methodological tools to the table, and mis- and disinformation can be found in a range of different media, not just online. This research topic explores the affordances and limits of different methodologies and sources for helping to gain a wider view. 

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