Desmarais, Rajtmajer, and Munger receive NSF Grant
C-SoDA Director, Bruce Desmarais along with affiliate faculty members, Sarah Rajtmajer and Kevin Munger have been awarded an NSF grant for their proposal: "Collaborative Research: HNDS-I: Digitally Accountable Public Representation".
Their research assembles a database about public online discussions with prominent public figures in the U.S. across a variety of online platforms. These data are used to create measures of public figures' positions relevant to their prominent roles in society. Transparency, responsiveness, and accessibility are some of the aspects of online behavior that can be evaluated with these measures. The investigators use an experimental approach to determine the relationship between online communications and elites' responses. Some questions to be asked include: Are public figures more likely to respond quickly to comments when elections are close? When health and/or security threats emerge in the areas they represent, how quickly do public figures work to inform their followers? This project provides data, tools, and illustrative research to help many different types of users understand how prominent public figures engage online. Software for data analysis is also made available so others can analyze similar data.