As the United States approaches the 2020 US elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more political communication than ever is taking shape on social media. Yet to date, our understanding of political content on YouTube--one of the most important platforms in this environment--has remained relatively limited, with little evidence regarding who engages with political content or how that content has changed over time.
In the third IDDP Summer Spotlight Webinar, held on Friday, July 24 from 1-2 p.m. EDT, James Bisbee of NYU's Center for Social Media and Politics and Kevin Munger of Penn State's Department of Political Science discussed their recent work analyzing political YouTube channels. In addition to tracking how content has changed over time, their study examines user engagement trends and analyzes the spread of toxic and partisan language across YouTube channels. Opening remarks were delivered by IDDP's Investigations Cluster lead Matt Hindman.