Political and COVID-19 News

  • Misinformation
  • Social Media

In a collaboration between researchers at Princeton University‘s Center for Information Technology Policy and Mozilla, this study seeks to examine the flow of both political and COVID-19 related news information across the internet. During the enrollment process, you‘ll receive more information about the study and you‘ll be asked by researchers at Princeton to consent to participation.

The study will run until December 31, 2022.

Goals of the Study

This study will help us understand how web users encounter, consume, and share news online about politics and COVID-19. There are a variety of sources for information on these topics: some authoritative and trustworthy, and some not. We hope the study can inform efforts to help users distinguish trustworthy and untrustworthy content.

This Study Will Collect:

  • Visits, shares, and exposures to specific websites from an established list known to spread authoritative information and disinformation

  • Whether you post links to these websites on social media

  • The time spent on each page and scroll depth

  • The time of day and day of the week

  • Your Rally demographics and an optional short survey

    (Responses to questions about politics and COVID-19 responses are collected in a third-party tool named Qualtrics. Surveys will be combined with your Rally Demographics responses and study data for the analysis)

Only deidentified metrics and models will be exported from our secure enviornment. We will not share your granular data with third parties. For detailed information about our data collection, view our readme.

How We Protect You:

  • We will not collect full webpage URLs for sites you visit, social media usernames, friends or followers, or the content which you share
  • We will not collect any data when you are in private browsing mode
  • We will not share measurements data sent to our server with third parties
  • All efforts to aggregate and analyze the data will be done in our secure analysis environment
  • If you leave the study, the study‘s browser extension will be automatically uninstalled, removing the study code and data from your browser

We are committed to data minimization as a design principle in all of our studies. This means we only try to collect exactly what is required to support our study goals, and nothing more.

Supporting You

Princeton University logo

The Princeton Institutional Review Board (IRB) has reviewed this study to ensure that the appropriate steps have been taken to protect the rights of research participants. Contact the IRB for more information.

Protocol No. 12952

About our Collaborator

Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy

Princeton University‘s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) is an interdisciplinary center that sits between technology, engineering, public policy, and social sciences on campus. As an extension of the University, CITP‘s work is subject to the standards defined by the Princeton Institutional Review Board for academic integrity.

For more information contact:

Jonathan Mayer
Principal Investigator

Ready to Rally?

The internet should be used to benefit all, not just some. With your help, we can create a safer, more transparent, and more equitable internet that protects people, not Big Tech.