Improving the Health of Our Online Civic Culture: A New Centre for Doctoral Training at Loughborough University. Deadline: April 27, 2018.
Established in 2018 with a £300,000 award from Loughborough University’s Adventure Research Programme, the Online Civic Culture Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) applies cutting-edge concepts and methods from social science and information science to understand the role of social media in shaping our civic culture. Led by Professor Andrew Chadwick, it features a team of ten academic supervisors drawn from the disciplines of communication, information science, social psychology, and sociology. The CDT enables interdisciplinary teams of researchers and PhD students to work together on issues of misinformation, disinformation, and the rise of hate speech and incivility online. It develops evidence-based knowledge to mitigate the democratically-dysfunctional aspects of social media. At the same time, it identifies and promotes the positive civic engagement benefits of social media.
Across the world, we face fundamental questions about how the routine use of social media is reshaping the civic cultures of democracies. Central to the debate is whether the features of social media that enable citizens to express themselves, exchange opinions, coordinate with others, and rapidly circulate and recirculate messages also encourage the diffusion of false information, incivility, and hatred.
One of the 3 studentships seems particularly relevant to CID followers:
This PhD will explore online discourse promoting misogynistic and/or racist hate speech. The research will address, for example, the rise of the so-called “alt-right” online and assess whether social media discourse cultivates deep emotional involvement from individuals and groups who promote such ideas. It will also consider the power and significance of oppositional responses, such as, for example, the #MeToo movement, Hope Not Hate, and Black Lives Matter. The project will explore the potential of methods and tools that use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques that may be used to combat racism and/or misogyny.