Research Projects

My research falls in the realm of digital political communication, with an emphasis on political talk, incivility, and intolerance online, political campaigns, democracy, deliberation, and misinformation.

WhatsApp as a source of political participation and (mis)information in Brazil

This project is funded by the WhatsApp Misinformation and Social Science Research Awards. We use a nationally representative survey to investigate the use of WhatsApp, Brazil’s second most popular social media platform, for political discussion and access to (mis)information, as well as citizens’ engagement with misinforming content.

I am the PI for this project. Co-Investigators: Vanessa Veiga and Erica Baptista, from the Federal U of Minas Gerais, and Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Syracuse U).

Visual Misinformation in Comparative Perspective

This project is funded by the Facebook Integrity Foundation Research Awards. We investigate whether visual misinformation (e.g. misinforming memes) is more credible and shareable than textual misinformation, adopting an 8 country comparative approach.

I am the country lead for Brazil and the United States, and our project also covers Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Principal Investigator: Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough U).

Co-Principal Investigators: Patricia Rossini (U of Liverpool), Michael Chan (Chinese U of Hong Kong), Shira Dvir-Gvirsman (Tel Aviv U), Iginio Gagliardone (Oxford Internet Institute), Raquel Recuero (Federal U of Pelotas), Nicole Stremlau (U of Oxford).

Devising metrics for assessing echo chambers, incivility, and intolerance

This is a two-year project funded by Twitter, as part of the “Healthy Conversations” Grant. I am a co-Principal Investigator, leading the development of two of our four proposed metrics — incivility & intolerance.

My collaborators are Rebekah Tromble (George Washington U, PI), Dirk Hovy (Bocconi U, co-PI), Nava Tintarev (Technical U of Delft, co-PI), Michael Meffert (Leiden U), and Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Syracuse U).


Illuminating is a computational project led by Jennifer Stromer-Galley and Jeff Hemsley that began in 2014, covering US Gubernatorial Elections. Since then, we studied the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the 2018 Midterms (House, Senate, Gubernatorial), and we are now focusing on the US 2020 Presidential Elections. We collect and analyze Facebook and Twitter data, examining candidates’ messaging strategies and public comments. For 2020, we expanded the scope of analysis to paid advertisements on social media.

In addition to our scholarly interest in analyzing strategic uses of social media, the project also aims at empowering journalists covering digital campaigns by providing a useable yet comprehensive summary of the content that campaigns post on social media.

This project is supported by the Center for Computational and Data Sciences, the BITS Lab at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, and by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Grant (Dec 2019 – Dec 2020).