Throughout my academic career, my foremost passion and interest has been to study the great promises and perils of the Internet, and its social and political impact. I am interested in online participation and deliberation, collective action, communities and self-governance online, as well as online campaigning and contact between citizens and representatives online.
To study these themes I apply a range of methods, including experiments, surveys, interviews, computerized analysis of online data, and more.
The site presents my research projects and publications.
My research analyzes behaviors, participation and collective action in computer-mediated and online environments, and can be classified into a few related domains:
Communication Experiments: My experiments focus on online promises, trust and cooperation in social dilemma, trust and ultimatum games, as well as a host of other questions, such as the rationale behind people’s ratings of news stories, reading patterns of online stories and user comments, effects of political candidates’ appearance on e-voting machines (using touch screens) on shares of votes, effectiveness of smartphone-based TV diaries, and more.
Collective Action and Social Movements Online: I studied the role of the Internet in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and during the social protest of 2011 in Israel. I also analyzed local Israeli newspapers’ coverage of Facebook during the protest as well as during the Israel-Gaza war of 2014.
Deliberation: I have analyzed the prospects and processes of deliberation using various media: face-to-face “student conferences,” deliberative radio programs, Internet-based discussions and lab experiments.
Homophily and Exposure to Opposing Views: I have investigated whether people tend to associate with like-minded peers online and whether online meetings with members of conflicting groups impact the perceived social distance between them.
Online Politics and Campaigning: My studies have examined how mayoral candidates and MPs used the Internet, and particularly social media, in election campaigns, and what is the perceived impact of exposure to Facebook politician pages by citizens.
E-Government/ e-Parliament: I analyzed the presence and usage of municipalities and Members of Parliament on Facebook, and explored whether Members of Parliament’s personal websites are agents of political personalization, among other themes.
Online Communities: Some of my studies focused on online communities, such as Katif.net – an online community used by evacuees of Gush Katif; Internet forums that are exclusive to Ultra-Orthodox women; online municipal forums, and more. I also conducted a large scale project for the Israeli Ministry of Social Services that analyzed the discussion and the perceived impact of communities of practice established by the Ministry.
Digital Divide: Finally, I conducted a number of studies that delve into the characteristics and correlates of the digital divide in Israel, focusing on differences in social media usage. These studies have been based either on data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics or on self-administered representative polls of the Israeli population.