Our Mission

 

The Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics (IDDP)’s mission is to help the public, journalists, and policymakers understand digital media’s influence on public dialogue and opinion, and to develop sound solutions to disinformation and other ills that arise in these spaces.

 

 

 

About Us

In the heart of the nation's capital, IDDP brings together top researchers from across academic disciplines, works side-by-side with and informs journalists from leading media outlets, advises and helps agenda set with policymakers in the U.S. and Europe, and engages with a variety of organizations that have significant societal influence and reach.

This work is of vital importance in an age when media manipulation, fake accounts, and malicious social media activities are undermining fundamental aspects of societal cohesion and democratic ideals. Abuse, harassment, hate speech, and disinformation abound, with foreign and domestic actors alike taking advantage of key features of digital platforms to target vulnerable and marginalized members of society.

About us

What We Do

 

 

 

Research

Research

Institute researchers produce timely publications about the threat to democracy posed by digital propaganda and deception and contribute to academic journals with new scholarships.

Convene

Convene

The Institute brings together a team of leading interdisciplinary researchers from around the world under one roof and organizes events on new disinformation research.

Educate

Educate

The institute collaborates with the Poynter Institute and its PolitiFact project to offer trainings on the misinformation landscape and how to correct false information with fact-checking journalism.

 

Research Cluster: Network Modeling

Network Modeling

Mapping the structure of digital networks and online group relationships.

Research Clusters: Investigations

Investigations

Conducting research on specific cases of pernicious content to help produce high-impact news articles.

Research Clusters: Effects

Mis/disinformation lab

Developing computational tools for identifying and analyzing harmful content and its producers.

Public Health and Governance icon

Public Health and Governance

Conducting multidisciplinary research into the health and societal consequences of platform policies and behaviors.

 

iddp in the news

publications, events, news and media

publications

Cornell University

Mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and misinformation

Parents - particularly moms - increasingly consult social media for support when taking decisions about their young children, and likely also when advising other family members such as elderly relatives. Minimizing malignant online influences is therefore crucial to securing their assent for policies ranging from vaccinations, masks and social distancing against the pandemic, to household best practices against climate change, to acceptance of future 5G towers nearby.
social media + society

Where Have All the Data Gone? A Critical Reflection on Academic Digital Research in the Post-API Age

In the wake of the 2018 Facebook–Cambridge Analytica scandal, social media companies began restricting academic researchers’ access to the easiest, most reliable means of systematic data collection via their application programming interfaces (APIs). Although these restrictions have been decried widely by digital researchers, in this essay, Rebekah Tromble argues that relatively little has changed. The underlying relationship between researchers, the platforms, and digital data remains largely the same.
Europe PubMed Central

Debunking the Misinfodemic: Coronavirus Social Media Contains More, Not Less, Credible Content

Several high-profile sources have focused worldwide attention on the dangers of misinformation about COVID, with the World Health Organization declaring a COVID-19 social media "infodemic". Prior work has associated such misinformation with low-credibility sources that are known to spread conspiracy theories and malicious content. Here, researchers report the results of an analysis of over 500 million social media posts from Twitter and Facebook between March 8 and May 1, 2020.

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events

Tech Policy Series: Regulating Digital Platforms

Tech Policy Webinar Series: Regulating Digital Platforms

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 1:00pm
As the Biden administration and the new Congress begin to grapple with how to bring transparency and accountability to massive digital platforms like Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter, they may seek ideas and guidance from other countries and jurisdictions where regulatory work has been moving more rapidly.
Global Online Harms Webinar Series: Vaccine Hesitancy

Global Online Harms Webinar Series: Vaccine Hesitancy

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 12:00pm
As we move toward widely distributing COVID vaccines, it is crucial that public health experts develop effective strategies for communicating fact-based messages to combat anti-vaccine sentiment and increase vaccine uptake worldwide. 
protestors

The Capitol Riots, QAnon, and the Internet

Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 12:00pm
This panel discussion presented views from Professor Chris Kojm, Dr. Rollie Lal, Dr. Rebekah Tromble, and Seamus Hughes, Deputy Director for the GW Program on Extremism on how extremist ideas have spread through society, how technology is an enabler for extremist groups such as QAnon and the Capitol rioters, as well as the international implications.

iddp in the news

Vox

Sexist AI is Even More Sexist Than We Thought

A new study shows bias is deeply ingrained in algorithmic models, generating sexualized images of women while creating professional images of men.
The Boston Globe

Can the Republican Party rein in the conspiracies? Here’s what its history says

This widening ideological rift is the story of today’s GOP, but it is much older than that. For as long as there has been a Republican Party, it has had a conspiratorial strain. Often, it has flowed on currents of conservative populism, racism, fear of Black racial progress, and resentment over a dwindling white middle class, historians and political analysts said. Yet, history provides no real playbook for McConnell and other Republican leaders to stem the tide as they battle with rank-and-file members over the party’s direction.
The Markup

Trump’s False Posts Were Treated with Kid Gloves by Facebook

As users drifted through Facebook in the aftermath of the presidential election, they may have run across a satirical article about the Nashville bombing in December. Playing off conspiracies about COVID-19 death diagnoses, a viral photo jokingly suggested the bomber had “died from COVID-19 shortly after blowing himself up.”