Social media has altered the way we consume and interact with different forms of media. CSMaP experts analyze the real-world implications of our online consumption, and how it impacts the political landscape.
Social Media, Information, and Politics: Insights on Latinos in the U.S.
Working Paper, November 2022
Election Fraud, YouTube, and Public Perception of the Legitimacy of President Biden
Journal of Online Trust and Safety, 2022
Skepticism about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in the United States led to a historic attack on the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 and represents one of the greatest challenges to America's democratic institutions in over a century. Narratives of fraud and conspiracy theories proliferated over the fall of 2020, finding fertile ground across online social networks, although little is know about the extent and drivers of this spread. In this article, we show that users who were more skeptical of the election's legitimacy were more likely to be recommended content that featured narratives about the legitimacy of the election. Our findings underscore the tension between an "effective" recommendation system that provides users with the content they want, and a dangerous mechanism by which misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracies can find their way to those most likely to believe them.
News & Views
Dr. Solomon Messing Joins CSMaP as Research Associate Professor
As a leader in applied data science with high-level experience across Twitter, Meta, and Pew, Messing will leverage his strong technical background and deep knowledge of the platforms to expand CSMaP’s research capacity.
January 31, 2023
2022 Year in Review: Our Research & Impact
A look at our top articles, events, and more from the past year.
December 19, 2022
Social media is used by millions of Americans to acquire political news and information. Most of this research has focused on understanding the way social media consumption affects the political behavior and preferences of White Americans. Much less is known about Latinos’ political activity on social media, who are not only the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the U.S., but they also continue to exhibit diverse political preferences. Moreover, about 30% of Latinos rely primarily on Spanish-language news sources (Spanish-dominant Latinos) and another 30% are bilingual. Given that Spanish-language social media is not as heavily monitored for misinformation than its English-language counterparts (Valencia, 2021; Paul, 2021), Spanish-dominant Latinos who rely on social media for news may be more susceptible to political misinformation than those Latinos who are exposed to English-language social media. We address this contention by fielding an original study that sampled a large number of Latino and White respondents. Consistent with our expectations, Latinos who rely on Spanish-language social media are more likely to believe in election fraud than those who use both English and Spanish social media new sources. We also find that Latinos engage in more political activities on social media when compared to White Americans, particularly on their social media of choice, WhatsApp.