Project on Democracy and the Internet


In partnership with


Bringing together the diverse disciplines needed to study the challenges and opportunities the Internet poses for democracy.

Affiliated research, convening, and publishing cuts across five primary themes:

Information integrity policies in a comparative perspective

Conference: Policy Responses to Fake News and Junk Science
cohosted by the Oxford Internet Institute

 Platforms and media companies: legal obstacles

Research: The legal obstacles to intermediary liability for self-regulation of fake news (Tim Hwang)

Research: The universe of reform options for platforms to combat hate speech, bots, and fake news (Nathaniel Persily)

Research: Journalists’ attitudes about the internet: how much do they think about their social media audience when writing/pitching stories? (Kevin Munger)

Public event: Franklin Foer, on his new book, World Without Mind: The Existential threat of Big Tech (Rob Reich)

Public event: Tim Wu, on his new book, The Attention Merchants (Rob Reich)

Workshops: Industry participants discuss the possibility of forming an industry consortium to define common standards for dealing with fake news, hate speech, and bots. (Frank Fukuyama and Jerry Kaplan)

Algorithmic bias and automated social engineering

Conference: Algorithms for Democracy (Eileen Donohoe and Larry Diamond, GDPI)

Research: How clickbait drives online news consumption and polarizes readers. What is the type of person most likely to consume clickbait? Does reading clickbait headline increase affect polarization, decrease recall, and decrease trust in the news media? (Kevin Munger)

Applied research: Develop tools that detect surreptitious efforts to sway policy makers, and assist them to accurately gauge public sentiment relevant to their areas of responsibility.  (Jerry Kaplan and Deger Turan)

Deteriorating health of digital information ecosystems and its effect on democracy and civil rights

Research workshops + publication: Digital Technology and Democratic Theory, with a final edited volume by May 2019 (Lucy Bernholz, Helene Landemore, Rob Reich)

Publication: Partisan news as a temptation good (Matt Gentzkow, Hunt Alcott, and David Yang)

Research: Internet literacy: how do different people use the internet? (Kevin Munger)

Research: Reducing partisan incivility on Twitter.  (Kevin Munger)

Research: Deliberative democracy through the psychological lens of fake news and social media. (Jeff Hancock)

Political framing and its propagation in media

Research:  Can Democracy Survive the Internet?  (Nathaniel Persily)

Research: The Campaign Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Nathaniel Persily)

Research: Internet interventions that could reduce partisan hostility in the American public. (David Broockman and Matt Gentzkow)

Research: Partisan alignment, perception of media quality and accuracy, and incentivizing media consumption (Matt Gentzkow, Hunt Alcott and David Yang)

Applied Research: Longitudinal study of online news consumption and its ramifications for polarization, misinformation, and opinion manipulation; resulting map of consumer demand for different genres of news. (Shanto Iyengar and Sharad Goel)

Research: Ideologically parallel processes: liberals’ estimates of conservatives’ elitism, and the effects of perceived elitism on liberals’ acceptance of ingroup-favorable, yet false, news reports. (Robb Willer)

Conference:  Social Media and Democracy: Identifying the Problems and Proposing Solutions, April 19-20, Cosponsored with the Social Science Research Council and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.