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Kate Starbird

Winter 2023

Examining the Spread of Election Rumors Online

Led by Sukrit Venkatagiri (Postdoctoral Scholar), Emma Spiro (iSchool), and Kate Starbird (HCDE)

The 2022 midterm elections were the focus of a wide range of rumors and conspiracy theories. In Autumn, in a first stage of research, our team at the Center for an Informed Public identified hundreds of different claims about the election that were false, misleading, and/or unsubstantiated. Now, in a second stage, our team aims to classify these different claims, identify social media posts from a variety of platforms related to these claims, and analyze social media content around these claims to answer a variety of research questions about how rumors spread online during the 2022 election period.

We are looking for students with a range of different skills. First and foremost, all students must have familiarity with social media, an interest in the processes and procedures around elections, and a willingness to engage in qualitative analysis of social media posts. We are also looking for students who, in addition to those interests/skills, have experience with data science (writing code to analyze data), network science, visualization, and statistical/machine learning. We encourage students with journalism and political science backgrounds to apply as well.

To apply, please complete this form to describe your interest in this DRG, specify any relevant skills, and upload a copy of your resume. If you have any questions, please send an email message to both Kate Starbird ( and Sukrit Venkatagiri (

Dr. Starbird's Research Group archive