Research & Ongoing projects


My current research is largely framed within the activity of the Human-Centered Data Science group and of the Networks, Data and Society (NERDS) research group and the, both at the IT University of Copenhagen. 

I’m currently actively involved in these major research projects (plus a number of unnamed research activities 🙂 ).

Visual Persuasion in a Transforming Europe (PolarVis)

The project  is funded under the CHANSE ERA-NET Co-fund program, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program (Grant Agreement no 101004509).

The PolarVis project examines the role of visual content in processes of political polarisation and belonging in the digital age. The visual dimension is increasingly salient online, where it underpins both conflict and connection. Photos, videos, and memes offer a powerful form of political communication. Political actors use them to frame issues, mobilise support, and build (or undermine) legitimacy, and citizens and platforms play a part by modifying, sharing and amplifying them. This project forges a unique interdisciplinary framework to study the implications of networked visual persuasion at large scale. We combine in-depth qualitative approaches, network analysis, and computational text and image analysis methods to understand how, why, and with what consequences visual content becomes a mechanism of polarisation and belonging in Europe. We focus on the intergenerational issue of climate change and green transition, and address four key questions: (1) How do movements use visual content in their communication? (2) What are the characteristics of this visual content and how does it form visual narratives? (3) How do online audiences react to the visual content? (4) How does this content spread online, and allow like-minded or opposed groups to emerge? The project advances the study of polarisation in its political, societal and affective dimensions, and illuminates dilemmas facing stakeholders that work to engage citizens with climate change online.

Patterns of Facebook Interactions around Insular and Cross-Partisan Media Sources in the Run-up of the 2018 Italian Election. 
A Social Science One  supported project coordinated by Fabio Giglietto, University of Urbino, Italy.
Before, during, and after the 2018 Italian election, several controversial cases raised concerns over the impact of problematic information on the democratic process. Mapping Italian News (MINE) was designed to address these concerns by analyzing a set of political news stories and their patterns of engagement on Facebook and Twitter. We estimated the political leaning and insularity of 634 news sources, found that populist parties tend to rely on insular media sources, and detected patterns of interactions on Facebook that seem to be significantly affected by the insularity of the source and the sentiment toward different political actors. This project is conceived as a follow-up of MINE. Limits in publicly available data hindered investigating the crucial question of whether the observed behaviors of online partisan communities are strategically organized or spontaneously grassroots. Grounded in existing literature, we thus designed a set of measures and related research questions to tackle this issue.


Old projects worth remembering 

VIRT-EU, Values and Ethics in Responsible Technology in Europe
A H2020 funded project coordinate by Irina Shklovski, IT University of Copenhagen.
Short description:
VIRT-EU applies an interdisciplinary research approach to generate new knowledge and methods that aim to overtake the unproved assumption according to which technological development leaves no room for ethical and moral reasoning.
VIRT-EU aims to intervene at the point of design to foster ethical thinking among developers of IoT solutions. In fact, addressing social concerns in new technologies, not only impacts changes in regulatory regimes but also influences the process of imagining and developing the next generation of digital technologies within European clusters of creative innovation. 

DIGINAUTS – Migrants’ digital practices in and of the European border regime
A VELUX Foundation supported project, coordinated by Martin Bak Jørgensen, Aalborg University.
Despite the ‘digital turn’ in migration research, there has been a lack of studies focusing on migrants’ usages of information and communications technology (ICT). The interdisciplinary DIGINAUTS project sets out to investigate the digital navigation of migrants on arrival sites and en-route to Europe. The aim is to conceptually synthesize existing insights from Critical Border and Migration Studies, Social Media Studies, European Ethnology and Science and Technology Studies. By employing a set of mixed methods (combining ethnographic and digital approaches), the aim is to investigate how ICT, the digital practices of migrants as well as of aiding organisations and initiatives of the receiving countries intermediate and constitute new sociotechnical networks of community and solidarity, in turn re-enacting migrants as political subjects in/of the European border regime. Three sites have been selected for the ethnographic investigation of migrants’ digital practices: 1) the Greek borderland (with a focus on the islands of Lesvos and Chios and the capital of Athens), 2) the German-Danish border region and 3) the Öresund region between Denmark and Sweden.