Democracy in the Digital Age

Carolina researchers are helping us understand our digital political spheres

CITAP Researchers

Carolina researchers are helping us understand our digital political spheres

Many of us associate social media and technology in the U.S. with politics, but researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) are framing the issue differently by diving into how politicians advertise on social media platforms and how users consume political content, among other related topics.

CITAP researches and produces resources to combat the oversimplification by “complicating, enriching, and nuancing the simplistic narratives around the role of technology and politics in society,” said Shannon McGregor, a senior researcher with CITAP and assistant professor within the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

Both good and bad come from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and the lines between the two often blur and intertwine. But the issues that involve social media and politics are not as simple as polarization.

“The Black Lives Matter movement would not have been possible without social media,” said Daniel Kreiss, a principal researcher with CITAP and Edgar Thomas Cato Distinguished Professor at UNC Hussman. “But, political parties can take advantage of the platforms.”

“Platforms shouldn’t be solving for polarization,” said McGregor. “They should be solving for equity.”

Read the complete Carolina Story…Opens in new window

Readers Also Viewed...

Portrait of Tori Smith Ekstrand
Faculty Support

Back to Carolina

Tori Smith Ekstrand reflects on Carolina as former student and current faculty

Side-by-side portraits of Nicholas Fanatauzzi and Pareen Bhagat
Student Support

Xpress Yourself

Students revamped Xpressions fashion club, creating a legacy of inclusion and creativity.

Isaac Klein sits in his car with recording equipment
Student Support

Wheel-y Interesting

Park Fellows’ innovative thesis project results in a fascinating, heartwarming podcast

Scott and Chapel Fowler stand in the Dean Smith Center

The Fowlers on Fatherhood

From one generation to another, award-winning sportswriters Scott and Chapel Fowler talk sports, fatherhood, and Carolina

Alex M. Sanchez

Retracing A Family’s Roots

An Arts Everywhere Innovation Grant helped fund an immigration documentary project

Broadcast studio inside the Curtis Media Center, with a desk and large screen to the side like in a professional news studio

A Place for ‘Dreamers and Believers’

The Curtis Media Center becomes Carolina's newest building.