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The U.S. 2020 Facebook & Instagram Election Study: understanding social media’s political effects (RSM Speaker Series)

December 6, 2023

Berkman Klein Center
1557 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA

December 6, 12:00 PM–December 6, 1:00 PM

The Institute for Rebooting Social Media welcomes Natalie Stroud and Joshua Tucker for a discussion on the U.S. 2020 Facebook & Instagram Election Study's findings and the process that generated them.

Launched as a partnership between Meta and independent external researchers, the U.S. 2020 Facebook & Instagram Election Study has led to groundbreaking social science scholarship on social media’s political effects.  Professors Natalie Stroud and Joshua Tucker led the 17-person team of external researchers, which has published four studies in Science and Nature and has additional papers currently undergoing peer-review. Prof. Stroud and Prof. Tucker join RSM for a discussion on the project’s findings and the process that generated them.

Read the studies at the links below:

How do social media feed algorithms affect attitudes and behavior in an election campaign?

Asymmetric Ideological Segregation in Exposure to Political News on Facebook

Reshares on social media amplify political news but do not detectably affect beliefs or opinions

Like-minded sources on Facebook are prevalent but not polarizing

Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud (Ph.D., Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania) is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the School of Journalism and Media, as well as the founding and current Director of the Center for Media Engagement in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. Stroud’s research received honors including the International Communication Association (ICA)’s Outstanding Book Award for her book Niche News: The Politics of News Choice and the inaugural Public Engagement Award in Journalism Studies from ICA.

Joshua A. Tucker (Ph.D., Department of Government, Harvard University) is Professor of Politics, affiliated Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, and affiliated Professor of Data Science at New York University. He is the Director of NYU’s Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia and co-Director of the NYU Center for Social Media and Politics, and was a co-editor and co-author of the award-winning politics and policy blog The Monkey Cage. His most recent books are the co-authored Communism’s Shadow: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes (Princeton University Press, 2017), and the co-edited Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field (Cambridge University Press, 2020).