My research focuses on several challenges that came about with the advancement of digital technologies, such as misinformation, micro-targeting, online content moderation, and - more broadly speaking - the role of social media in our daily media-diet. I am particularly interested in the extent to which the numerous interventions against these potentially harmful phenomena are effective, but especially to what extent such interventions may cause unintended spill-over effects.
To give an example, in my PhD-thesis entitled "The Remedy Worse than the Sickness? Comparing the Harms of Misinformation to the Media's Interventions Against it", I argue that the amount of attention to misinformation in the media (i.e. the media covering misinformation as an issue) may not be in proportion to the magnitude of the problem of misinformation. Through four independent papers, my thesis shows that such coverage of misinformation may do more harm than misinformation itself by fostering misperceptions and skepticism, and by decreasing trust.
Method-wise, I enjoy designing survey- and field-experiments, as well as using computational social science approaches such as topic-modelling, webscraping and digital trace-data.
(FAKE) NEWS & INTERVENTIONS
Media Literacy or Media Skeptcism?
The Effect of Media Literacy Courses in Dutch High Schools on Assessing the Reliability of Information [working paper]
Who’s to Blame?
The Effect of Exposure to Partisan News and Misinformation versus Exposure to the Coverage of Misinformation on Trust and Misperceptions [together with Andreu Casas and Sijia Qian] [working paper]
Is Exposure to the Coverage of Misinformation about COVID-19 more Contagious than Exposure to Actual Misinformation about the Virus? Evidence from a survey-experiment in Poland [together with Andreu Casas and Magdalena Wojcieszak] [Pilot study: pre-registration]
For Better or For Worse?
Comparing the Effects of Actual Misinformation to the Media's Coverage of Misinformation [together with Sijia Qian and Magdalena Wojcieszak] [working paper: pre-registration]
Exacerbating or Attenuating?
The Effects of Content Moderation on False and Provocative Claims [together with Jonathan Klueser and Nahema Marchal] [working paper: pre-registration]
Content Moderation as Political Issue: The Twitter Discourse Around Trump's Ban [together with Meysam Alizadeh, Fabrizio Gilardi, Jonathan Klueser, Mael Kuebli, & Nahema Marchal, under review] [working paper]
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
The Role of Media Coverage in Platform Policy Change [together with Nahema Marchal, Felix Hamborg, Christian Katzenbach, Jonathan Klueser, Meysam Alizadeh & Maël Kubli] [working paper]
Crypto Social Media: Platform Decentralization and Its Effects on User Behavior [together with Meysam Alizadeh and Fabrizio Gilardi] [working paper]
Prominence over Proximity?
The Effects of Terrorist Attacks on Party Preferences for Incumbent versus Populist Radical Right Parties [together with Jonne Kamphorst, under review] [also on SSRN]