Civic Infrastructure Lab Projects

General Projects

Digital infrastructure & media ecology

In this mixed-methods project, we interview social media managers of local politicians, non-profits, government, libraries, and police pages to learn about how they use digital media to communicate with their public. To see if their social media practices match the way they describe them, we use structural topic modeling to examine the content of posts.

Civic customization

We use surveys and Facebook data to ask: how are our personal preferences and our actions on the site related to what Facebook thinks about us? And how is that related to what we see on Facebook? We find that what Facebook thinks about your interest in politics is a better predictor of the amount of political information you see than your actions on the site or your actual interest in politics.

Facebook moving to the center

We analyze the text Facebook produces patents, posts on its blogs, CEO Mark Zuckerberg's speeches to critically examine Facebook's strategy and the role it takes on with regard to the circulation of civic information. 


External Funding

Infodrought and Infodemic: Conceptualizing Information Vulnerabilities on Social Media 

Kjerstin Thorson, PhD; Principal Investigator

Funding Agency: Social Science Research Council
Year: 2020 – 2021