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Red Giant

The implementation of “Red Giant” at the Centre of Excellence in Social Sciences is part of the Action I.1.2. “Excellent Researchers for Research Excellence” of the IDUB Programme. The aim of the Action I.1.2. is to build the capacity to conduct high-quality research at the University of Warsaw in the area of social sciencesby creating a team of outstanding young researchers led by an experienced researcher (“Red Giant”) with a high capacity to stimulate research activities and manage small teams.

The theme of the project carried out by the “Red Giant” team at CESS is studying the use and the effects of social media platforms and the online environment more broadly. The focus is on recommendation algorithms, information selection, exposure, and expression, and the effects of on online discourse, polarization, misinformation, engagement. The project combines traditional social science methodologies (e.g., experimentation, surveys) with computational social science approaches, algorithmic audits, and also large language models to study online communication.

Research team

prof. Magdalena Wojcieszak

Magdalena Wojcieszak (Ph.D. U. of Pennsylvania), is Professor of Communication, U. of California, Davis and an Associate Researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, U. of Amsterdam, where she directs the ERC EXPO Grant.

Her research focuses on how people select political information in the current media environment and on the effects of these selections on democratic attitudes, cognitions, and behaviors. She also examines the effects of mass media, new information technologies, and various messages on extremity, polarization, tolerance, and perceptions. Prof. Wojcieszak’s current work aims to identify the extent of interest- and political biases in recommendation algorithms and propose principle solutions to minimize these biases, especially in the context of promoting exposure to quality news and diverse political contents online.

Prof. Wojcieszak has (co-)authored more ~70 articles in peer-reviewed journals, is the Associate Editor of Journal of Communication, and serves on editorial boards of seven peer-reviewed journals. She has received several awards for her teaching and research (including the 2016 Young Scholar Award from the International Association of Communication).

Prof. Wojcieszak is part of the Misinformation Committee at the Social Science One, first ever partnership between academic researchers and social media platforms, and of an independent research partnership between researchers and Facebook to study the impact of Facebook and Instagram on key political attitudes and behaviors during the U.S. 2020 elections.