Social media has changed the way politics is practiced and the way it is studied by social scientists and journalists, introducing a number of technical obstacles as well as scientific opportunities. At CSMaP, we support lab-based, interdisciplinary research that examines a broad range of questions at the intersection of social media and politics.

New York University   |   New York City, NY


The Center for Social Media and Politics is home to faculty, post-docs, students, and staff committed to understanding the relationship between social media and politics in our new digital age. The Center houses the Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) Lab, which fosters research in three core areas: (i) how social media impacts politics, with particular emphasis on the flow of information (and misinformation) on social media; (ii) innovative ways to use social media data to study politics; and (iii) developing open-source tools that facilitate the use of social media data for the study of politics.

Media Exposure and Impact

Information Flow Across Platforms

Disinformation and Digital Literacy

Bot Identification and Analysis

Sentiment and Stance Analysis

The 2020 U.S. Elections

Measuring Public Opinion

The Spread of Information


Cross-Platform State Propaganda: Russian Trolls on Twitter and YouTube during the 2016 US Presidential Election


As part of our project to construct comprehensive data sets and to empirically test hypotheses related to social media and politics, we have developed a suite of open-source tools and modeling processes.

Downloads of our open source software

You can explore and download our data collection and analysis tools here.


smappdragon is a low level data parser designed for parsing twitter data.

pysmapp is a high-level JSON-parser that extends smapdragon for non-coders

urlExpander is a Python module to quickly and thoroughly expand shortened urls

youtube-data-api is a Python client to download public YouTube data about channels, videos, and searches

streamR is a package written by Pablo Barbera and published on CRAN that provides access to Twitter’s Streaming API via the R language. The package allows for easy creation of filter, sample and user streams: this involves tooling for creation of an OAuth token, opening a filter connection with twitter that returns real time public statuses based on given terms or parameters, for a given user or users, or a random sample of these statuses (up to 1% of all tweets at any given time, which is the Twitter limit) and functions for reading and parsing the results into a data frame.

The Rfacebook package was written by Pablo Barbera, Michael Piccirilli, Andrew Geisler, and Wouter van Attendeldt and published on CRAN. It allows for easy interaction with the Facebook via R and provides many different functions for interacting with the API to obtain information about users, posts and to collect public status updates the mention specific keywords. Some examples of the tooling provided include: functions to create an OAuth token, get posts, likes, reactions, shares, users, getting page insights for a specific time period, getting an adjacency matrix representing a users mutual friend network, general facebook search, facebook group search. The package is built out and includes unit testing.

instaR package provides a series of functions that allow R users to access Instagram’s API to search for media that mention specific hashtags or were sent from a certain location, to download recent pictures from a given users, and to capture lists of followers.

A directory of local news outlets by state and medium. Includes social media accounts for local news outlets.

R-package to estimate media scores from url sharing data


Drawing from politics, data science, biology, and psychology, CSMaP is a diverse community of scholars studying the intersection of social media and politics.

Meet our full team


Faculty Director


Postdoctoral Fellow


Research Associate


Research/Data Engineer