Sociologist and media scholar Francesca Tripodi will join the faculty of the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) as an assistant professor, effective July 1. Tripodi’s research examines the relationship between social media, political partisanship, and democratic participation, revealing how Google and Wikipedia are manipulated for political gains.
In addition to her appointment with SILS, she will be a senior research professor with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) at UNC-Chapel Hill.
“Dr. Tripodi brings expertise that fits well with SILS’ focus on the human side of human-technology interaction,” said SILS Dean Gary Marchionini. “Her previous and ongoing research is sure to help advance CITAP’s mission to determine the full impact of social media and other forms digital information sharing on democracy.”
An affiliate at the Data & Society Research Institute, Tripodi comes to Carolina from James Madison University, where she was an assistant professor of sociology. She holds a PhD and MA in sociology from the University of Virginia, as well as an MA in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown University.
In 2019, Tripodi testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on her research, explaining how search processes are gamed to maximize exposure and drive ideologically based queries. This research is the basis of her book, which is under contract with Yale University Press. She also studies patterns of gender inequality on Wikipedia, shedding light on how knowledge is contested in the 21st century.
Her research has been covered by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Columbia Journalism Review, Wired, The Guardian and The Neiman Journalism Lab.