Featured Research

Mutual Endorsement Network of Anti-CCP Conspiracists on YouTube.

Backbone Shared Commenter Network of Anti-CCP Conspiracists on YouTube.

Anti-CCP Conspiracists on YouTube

I am leading a series of research investigating the anti-CCP conspiracy circle on YouTube. Considering political conspiracy theories as a combination of factually problematic information and populist morality, we draw on Habermas’s theory of communicative action to analytically distinguish the factual and moral components of conspiracy theories. 

Our first study maps out the mutual endorsement and shared commenter networks of the conspiratorial YouTubers. We also illustrate how such conspiracists weave together factual and moral claims to build convincing narratives. 

Our ongoing research focuses on the audience of conspiracy videos. Anti-CCP conspiracy YouTube is a transnational sphere where mainland Chinese, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau audiences meet and interact with each other. We use an n-gram topic model to understand the topical focuses of each audience segment and take steps to build a supervised machine learning classifier to identify truth and moral rightness claims in the comment section. Our central question is: Given that conspiratorial YouTubers use legitimate moral claims to package their problematic facts, are audiences falling prey to misinformation or seeking moral commiseration? 

Under Review: Qin, Abby Youran, Xiao, F., & Dai, L. Tell China's conspiracy well: Networks and narratives of Anti-CPC YouTube influencers. Paper presented at the 108th Annual National Communication Association (NCA) Conference, New Orleans, USA.

In Preparation: Qin, Abby Youran, Xiao, F., & Dubree, W. Under Conspiracy Videos We Meet: Facts, Norms, and Communities in a Transnational Sinophone Conspiracy Sphere. Poster presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) 2023 Annual Conference, Washington, USA.

[Graduate Student Research Funding ($800) - School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison.]

Cross-cutting connectivity (ratio of cross-cutting connection to like-minded connection) on Facebook for U.S. counties.

A Systemic Approach to Political Homophily

We combine LASSO and geographically weighted regression models to explore county-level factors that predict cross-cutting social media connectivity.

In Preparation: Qin, Abby Youran, Dubree, W., & Wagner, M. A systemic approach to political homophily: County-level examination of factors predicting cross-cutting social media connectivity.

[Summer PA Award ($7,000) - Elections Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison]

How Much does Inclusive Local Media Cost?

We seek to collect a comprehensive database of news articles published by 500+ local media outlets across the U.S., use machine learning techniques to analyze their contents and incorporate geographical information to assess how well they serve local communities in various aspects.

In Preparation: Dubree, W. & Qin, Abby Youran. How much does inclusive local media cost: A generalized workflow for journalism performance assessment and budget calculation.

[Research Grant ($5,000) - DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy, Duke University]