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  • Fellow Talk with our Research Fellow Dominik Schindler
    Visiting the research group in May Dominik Schindler, Ph.D. candidate in Applied Mathematics at Imperial College London, gave a talk on his latest research on May, 14. In his talk, titled “Bayesian Knowledge – Situated and Pluriversal Perspectives on Machine Learning”, he explored the fundamental mathematical structures of machine learning (ML) and challenged some of […]
  • Varities of antigender politics: applying a contextual lens
    Despite their shared antigenderism, populist radical-right parties’ contestation of gender and sexual equality forms a continuum rather than being homogenous across countries. Susanne Reinhardt, Annett Heft, and Elena Pavan argue that varieties of antigenderism are best understood through a party’s societal context, ideology, and voter expectations. Read more into this subject by clicking here.
  • The new Steering Committee of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Communication
    We are happy to announce that our team member Daniel Thiele (Freie Universität Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) was elected to the new Steering Committee of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Communication, announced on April 26th! The Standing Group on Political Communication encompasses research on the interactions among politics, media, and the public. This research network provides […]
  • CLOUD-C: Climate, social media and transnational research workshop
    On April 18th and 19th, we hosted the workshop “CLOUD-C: Climate, Social Media, and Transnational Research” at the Weizenbaum Institute, Berlin, co-organized with the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH). The Cloud-C Project is an international collaboration developed by the HSSH, focused on analyzing the discourse on climate politics in social media. This […]
  • 2nd Place for the Best Paper Award by DGPuK
    We extend our congratulations to Annett Heft and Kilian Buehling (both Freie Universität Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) along with their esteemed colleagues, Pablo Jost (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz), Maximilian Zehring, Hendrik Bitzmann, and Emese Domahidi  (all Technische Universität Ilmenau), and Heidi Schulze (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich), for their notable achievement of receiving the 2nd place for the Best Journal Paper […]
  • Unveiling the Stylistic Dynamics of Conspiracy Theory Communication in Digital Spaces
    Today, the proliferation of conspiracy theories has become a prevalent issue, often fueled by the expansive reach of digital forums and social media platforms. A collaborative project led by Annett Heft, Kilian Buehling, Xixuan Zhang (all Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute), research on the complex nuances of online communication surrounding conspiracy narratives. In their investigation, […]
  • The Querdenken Telegram Dataset 2020 – 2022
    From March 13th to 15th the University of Erfurt hosted the 69. Annual Conference of the German Society for Journalism and Communication Studies (DGPuK). This year’s theme, “Visions for a Better Life,” aimed to stimulate a debate on the social relevance and future of communication science research. By exploring the roles that communication and media […]
  • Which factors shape citizen-generated populism? A computational analysis of comment sections during COVID-19 in seven European countries
    Citizen-generated populist content is flourishing in the comments sections of online news. The factors that shape the extent of such populist communication from below are still under-researched. The recent publication of Daniel Thiele (Freie Universität Berlin & Weizenbaum Institute, Berlin) focuses on the COVID-19 crisis to examine how contextual and media-related factors are related to […]
  • Telegram and its Affordances for Anti-Democratic Mobilization
    On February 28, 2024 Dr. Olga Pasitselska at the University of Groningen hosted a guest lecture by Dr. Kilian Buehling from Freie Universität and Weizenbaum Institut, Berlin. The topic of the lecture was “Telegram and its Affordances for Anti-Democratic Mobilization” based on a paper he wrote together with Dr. Annet Heft. Dr. Kilian Buehling began […]
  • Alliances and opportunity structures of gender contestations in Germany
    From the 22nd until the 23rd February 2024, Annett Heft (Free University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) had the great opportunity of presenting her work in the International Conference Polarization and Beyond. What Comes Next in Political Communication Research. The event was organized by the I-POLHYS: Investigating Polarization in Hybrid Media Systems and hosted by the University […]
  • Right Topic, Right Source? Source Diversity and Balance in Right-Wing Alternative News Content Across Topics
    On February 11, 2024, the final version of the article titled “Right Topic, Right Source? Source Diversity and Balance in Right-Wing Alternative News Content Across Topics,” authored by Annett Heft (Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute), Tim Ramsland, and Eva Mayerhöffer (both Roskilde University), was published by Taylor & Francis. The article investigates how right-wing alternative […]
  • NEOVEX Meeting in Munich
    On February 7 and 8, the NEOVEX subprojects consortium meeting took place at the Munich School of Politics of the Technical University of Munich. The main focus was on exchanging ideas and planning future collaboration. During the one-day workshop, the subproject teams gathered to update the consortium and funding agencies on their current project work. […]
  • Pandemic Protesters on Telegram: How Platform Affordances and Information Ecosystems Shape Digital Counterpublics
    Kilian Buehling and Annett Heft (both Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) published an article on the Pandemic Protesters on Telegram: How Platform Affordances and Information Ecosystems Shape Digital Counterpublics in Social Media + Society.  Their research investigates the role of platform affordances, their adoption by movement actors, and the strategic use of information ecosystems in […]
  • Cross-Border Journalism Content: Status Quo and Perspectives
    Journalism has been crossing borders since news media and nation-states co-emerged in the seventeenth century. Still, the internet era has further advanced and expanded the border-transcending production, dissemination, and reception of news. The rise of cross-border journalism reflects the “increasing connectedness, boundarylessness, and mobility in the world” (Berglez, 2008, p. 855). The new “The Palgrave […]
  • Vox Populi(st): Contexts and consequences of populism in user comments on news media Facebook pages
    On December 13, 2023, Daniel Thiele (Freie Universität Berlin & Weizenbaum Institute, Berlin) presented his research titled “Vox Populi(st): Contexts and Consequences of Populism in User Comments on News Media Facebook Pages” at the Helsinki Conference on Emotions, Populism and Polarization at the University of Helsinki. The conference was organized by the Helsinki Hub on […]
  • Politicization and Right-Wing Normalization on Youtube: A Topic-Based Analysis of the “Alternative Influence Network”
    Curd Benjamin Knüpfer (Free University of Berlin), Carsten Schwemmer (Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich) and Annett Heft (Free University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) published an article on the Politicization and Right-Wing Normalization on Youtube: A Topic-Based Analysis of the “Alternative Influence Network” in the  International Journal of Communication. The study addresses a  gap in current research on YouTube’s […]
  • Light and Shadow of Participation and Mobilization in Networked Digital Public Spheres
    On November 30th and December 1st, Annett Heft (Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) had the opportunity to participate in the conference „Zwischen Gefährdung & Emanzipation: Demokratie unter Druck“ (Between Threat and Emancipation: Democracy Under Pressure) hosted by the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society, together with the Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, […]
  • Fellow Talk on Pandemic Activism with Prof. Dr. Shelly Boulianne
    We were honored to have Prof. Dr. Shelly Boulianne, Professor of Digital Political Communication at the Université Catholique de Lille and currently a Research Fellow in our research group, giving a talk on her latest research on November, 28. In her talk “Pandemic activism in comparative perspective: Exploring the roles of digital media uses, misinformation, […]
  • Twiplomacy and the War: Untangling networked practices of Russian diplomats during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine
    From the 18th until the 21st of November Miriam Milzner (Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) had the great opportunity to participate in the three-day AoIR conference in Philadelphia, PA, USA. The 2023 AoIR conference explored the themes of revolutions, examining their inherent promises and failures in connection to digital technologies. It delved into the involvement […]
  • Mapping a Dark Space: Challenges in Sampling and Classifying Non-Institutionalized Actors on Telegram
    November 14th a collaborative article Mapping a Dark Space: Challenges in Sampling and Classifying Non-Institutionalized Actors on Telegram with two members of our team was published in the journal Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft!  Written by Pablo Jost (Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich), Annett Heft (Free University of Berlin), Kilian Buehling (Free University of Berlin), Maximilian Zehring (Ilmenau Technical University), […]
  • Book launch with Eviane Leidig “The Women of the Far Right”
    On November 2nd, 2023, we had the great pleasure of participating in the book launch of The Women of the Far Right, written by Dr. Eviane Leidig (Tilburg University). Hosted by the research project NEOVEX, the event was jointly organized with the Free University of Berlin, the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin, […]
  • Alternative Platforms/Platform Alternatives: Comparisons and Transnational Flows
    We were happy to conduct the workshop titled “Alternative Platforms/Platform Alternatives: Comparisons and Transnational Flows” on October 20th and 21st at the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin in collaboration with the Free University of Berlin! The workshop gathered approximately 20 international researchers, creating an intimate and relaxed atmosphere that fostered networking and great knowledge exchange. The […]
  • International PhD Workshop in the University of Bern
    From October 10th to 11th, the University of Bern hosted a great opportunity to dialogue ideas and insights on various doctoral research projects in a PhD Workshop! In a colloquium format, the event presented a valuable chance for professional exchange and network building. It united researchers from four universities who shared a common investigation expertise […]
  • Theoretical Concepts and the Querdenken Mobilization on Telegram.
    On October 5th and 6th, Annett Heft (Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) participated in the Conference “Value Conflicts in a Differentiated Europe: the impact of digital media on value polarization in Europe (ValCon)” in Florence hosted by the research group Media and political communication. The conference addressed transnational and domestic dimensions of the independence of […]
  • Hands-on workshop on data collection using the Telegram API
    From September 27th to 29th, the 24th Conference of the Methods Section of the German Communication Association (DGPuK) was hosted by Babelsberg Film University in Potsdam. During the event, Kilian Buehling (Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) conducted a three-hour workshop on Digital Trace Data. The conference focused on the convergence of methodology and research ethics […]
  • ECPR General Conference at Charles University
    On a five-day conference from the 4th until the 8th of September, we had an amazing chance to participate in the ECPR General Conference at Charles University! The event counted with an extensive program of about 60 sections covering the full breadth of political science and over 400 panels offering an engaging platform for discussion […]
  • 2023 ECREA Political Communication Section Conference
    On August 31st and September 1st, the Weizenbaum Institute and Free University of Berlin hosted the bi-annual ECREA Political Communication Section Conference! In an international environment, the event counted approximately 150 scholars from 23 countries in Europe, Australia, Asia, and America in Germany. The two-day conference was packed with exciting keynotes and insights into new […]
  • How well can conspiracy theory content be measured on social media? It’s a matter of time!
    Many civil society and academic projects are engaged in documenting and analyzing conspiracy theory, anti-democratic or racist discourse on social media. Kilian Buehling has investigated to what extent the results of these efforts are influenced by the time of data collection. In this article, he summarizes the results of a recently published study. A bizarre […]
  • NEOVEX Meeting in Berlin
    Periodically, the researchers of the NEOVEX project meet in person to report on the progress of their subprojects. This time, the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin hosted the meeting on Thursday, September 22. In addition to members of the subprojects from IFSH Hamburg, TU Munich, FU Berlin and IDZ Jena, the VDI […]
  • Platform infrastructures and the spread of conspiracy theories
    After the announcement in October 2022 that the microblogging platform Twitter had been acquired by Elon Musk, incidents both within the company and in the platform’s digital space began to spiral. Since then, many experts have been concerned that Twitter could become a communication platform where disinformation, hate speech, and conspiracy theories could take up a […]
  • Jay Blumler Best Article Award 2022 for Annett Heft and Co-Authors
    Annett Heft, head of the research group Digitalization and the Transnational Public Sphere at the Weizenbaum Institut for the Networked Society and the Free University Berlin, together with co-authors Curd Knüpfer, Susanne Reinhardt and Eva Mayerhöffer (Roskilde University), have been awarded The International Journal of Press/Politics Jay Blumler Best Article Award 2022 for their study […]
  • Kick-Off Meeting and Fellow Visit Nicola Righetti
    Exciting news! We’ve officially launched our new research group, “Dynamics of Digital Mobilization” with two kick-off meetings on January 19th and February 16th, 2023. Our research program will focus on analyzing the impact of digital connectivity on politics and society, both within and between European democracies, as well as in other international societies. Our goal […]
  • Mobilization and support structures in radical right party networks
    Whether a radical right party is in opposition or in government significantly influences the digital communication of its actors and supporters. This is a central finding of the latest publication “Mobilization and support structures in radical right party networks. Digital political communication ecologies in the 2019 European parliament elections” by Annett Heft, Susanne Reinhardt and […]