PhD (Sociology), University of Virginia
MA (Sociology), University of Virginia
MA (Communication, Culture, and Technology), Georgetown University
BA, University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication
Dr. Francesca Tripodi is a sociologist and media scholar whose research examines the relationship between social media, political partisanship, and democratic participation, revealing how Google and Wikipedia are manipulated for political gains.
She is an assistant professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), a senior faculty researcher with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an affiliate at the Data & Society Research Institute
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. Before coming to Carolina, she was an assistant professor of sociology at James Madison University
In 2019, Dr. 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.
Awards and Recognition
- University of Virginia’s Provost Office and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Fellowship (2016/2017)
- Digital Humanities Fellowship, University of Virginia (2016)
- Innovative Efforts Award (IDEA) “Celebrating Academic Bravery- Filling the Bowl with Hope and Understanding” – Office of Access & Inclusion – James Madison University
- Finalist in 3MT competition at University of Virginia (2014)
- 1st Place –Huskey Research Exhibition (2014)
- University of Virginia All-University Graduate Teaching Assistant Award – Media Studies (2012-2013)
Selected Publications and Presentations
Testifying Before the Senate Judiciary Committee
July 16, 2019 – Google and Censorship through Search Engines
April 10, 2019 – Technological Censorship and Public Discourse
“The Consequences of Misinformation” – SSRC Symposium
“Searching for Alternative Facts” – Laboratory for Social Machines
“News Meets Community: Perspectives from the US” – panel at News Impact Summit
“The Silencing Problem in Participatory Media Environments” – Center for Comparative Research – Yale University
Tripodi, Francesca (under contract) Based on research into the ways search processes are gamed to maximize exposure and drive ideologically based queries. Yale University Press.
Tripodi, Francesca and Andrea Press (forthcoming) Media Ready Feminism and Everyday Sexism State University of New York Press.
Articles, Book Chapters, & Reports
Tripodi, Francesca. 2018. Searching for Alternative Facts: Analyzing Scriptural Inference in Conservative News Practices. Data & Society Research Institute.
Tripodi, Francesca. 2017. “Fifty Shades of Consent?” Feminist Media Studies.
Tripodi, Francesca. 2017. “Yakking about college life: Examining the role of anonymous forums on community identity formation” in Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jessie Daniels, and Karen Gregory (eds.) Digital Sociologies. Policy Press.
Dr. Tripodi discusses the ins and outs of how search engine algorithms work, how media manipulators game the results, and how our own perceptions and biases shape our results before we even open the search bar in this episode of CITAP's podcast, Does Not Compute.