New book examines social media’s impact on American politics

A new book edited by three Syracuse University professors, “Democracy in the Disinformation Age: Influence and Activism in American Politics,” will be released this spring from Routledge. It is currently available for pre-order.  

Democracy in the Digital Age

The book’s editors are Regina Luttrell, assistant dean of research and creative activity and assistant professor of public relations at the Newhouse School; Jon Glass, professor of practice in magazine, news and digital journalism at the  Newhouse School; and Lu Xiao, associate professor at the School of Information Studies.  

The book examines the impact of social media on American politics, spanning topics like activism in the digital age, fake news, online influence, messaging tactics, news transparency and authentication, and consumers’ digital habits. 

Chapters explore how and why social media became a powerful factor in politics; user vs. corporate responsibility in stemming the proliferation of hate speech and disinformation; computational techniques for measuring and assessing social media’s societal impact; and other important topics related to the combining of social media and politics. 

“Given the state of the world today, where misinformation is fueled by social media, filter bubbles and constant disruptions, our book comes at just the right time, sending a powerful message,” Luttrell says. “Bringing together some of the most well-known researchers in the field, this book will provide a stronger understanding of the core issues we face today and steer us toward an improved understanding aimed at a better democracy.” 

Newhouse doctoral alumna Jiyoung Lee G’19 and media studies alumna Teri Del Rosso G’12 were contributing authors. Laura Angle ’20, an alumna of Newhouse’s graphic design program, designed the book cover.  

The book was supported by the CUSE (Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence) Grant program, which seeks to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations in order to grow the research enterprise and enhance scholarship at Syracuse University.