In the wake of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, the role of social media in propagating extremism was once again under scrutiny. However, as Deana Rohlinger's research demonstrates, stronger moderation policies alone would fail to account for the many ways that users express political beliefs through online forums. Instead, she argues that additional direct interventions like political bias training are necessary to both protect against extremism and encourage democratic participation.
Deana A. Rohlinger
Deana A. Rohlinger is a professor of sociology and codirector of Research for the Institute of Politics at Florida State University. She is the author of Abortion Politics, Mass Media, and Social Movements in America (Cambridge University Press, 2015), New Media and Society (New York University Press, 2019) and more than 50 research articles and book chapters on digital media, political participation, and US politics. Rohlinger has written commentaries for a variety of media outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, the American Prospect, and the Conversation. She is also the former chair of the American Sociological Association’s section on Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Society and is a member of the National Institute for Civil Discourse Research Network, which was founded by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in 2011. Rohlinger’s current research explores incivility, polarization, and extremism in individual claimsmaking around political controversies, including Supreme Court hearings and school shootings.