Recent Talks


Presenter giving a talk on hate messages on social media





Dr. Joe Walther, Distinguished Professor, Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Technology and Society, Sept. 29, 2023

Hate Messages on Social Media: A Prosocial Theory of Antisocial Communication

Abstract: Previous research into online hate—racist, religious, anti-immigrant, misogynistic, and similar attacks—assumes it is a product of individual malevolence. A new perspective on online hate situates the propagation of hate messages as networked, socially organized, performative, and motivated to garner social approval in online relationships using social media’s affordances. A number of hypotheses derive from this perspective, with implications for new methods and deleterious extended outcomes. 


Gonzales_Amy Headshot

Dr. Amy Gonzales, Feb. 24, 2023

Building and Maintaining Social Capital Online: The Importance of Digital Access for Marginalized Individuals

Associate Professor Amy Gonzales visited from the University of California - Santa Barbara to discuss her research on digital access for marginalized individuals. Her work advocates for the importance of consistent technological availability particularly in more vulnerable communities. Her research finds that consistent access to technologies such as cell phones and computers is associated with higher social support, more employment opportunities, and better performance in work and school. She also outlined some of the important practical and ethical considerations that guide work of this kind.