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Social Media and Political Polarisation

Dr Pablo Barberá
10:00am, Tuesday 1 May 2018
RISJ,13 Norham Gardens, Oxford

The RISJ will host Dr Pablo Barberá, assistant professor at the London School of Economics, for a seminar on Social Media and Political Polarisation on May 1. The event will focus on Barberá’s research on how social media reduces political polarisation. Contrary to conventional wisdom, his analysis provides evidence that weak ties in social media connect people to more politically heterogeneous citizens and that this in turn can reduce levels of political polarisation.

Beyond the results of his published research, Dr. Barberá will also share new findings from ongoing studies which leverage social media data to understand how platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are transforming different aspects of democratic politics, e.g. ideological polarisation or social protest.

Dr Barberá’s research has been published in a range of top journals including Journal of Communication, PLOS ONE, Journal of Computed Mediated Communication and Journal of Democracy. He has also led the development of open-source software tools for the collection and analysis of social media data in the social sciences, releasing several popular packages that allow R users to gather data from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Since January 2018, Dr Barberá has been Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science in the Methodology Department at the London School of Economics. He joined the LSE after holding a position of Assistant Professor in International Relations at the University of Southern California.

To RSVP, and for further information, please contact
Registration is required by Friday 27th April

Twitter: @p_barbera