Propaganda, Conspiracies and Search Manipulation

This episode of the Center for Media at Risk Podcast is a conversation between Center Steering Committee Member Azsaneé Truss and sociologist and media scholar Professor Francesca Tripodi. They discuss Francesca’s recent work examining what algorithmic polarization means for society, how conservative elites use media literacy tactics to spread propaganda and the role of race and racism in understanding misinformation. They also drew connections to Azsaneé’s dissertation project, which focuses on conspiracy theorizing among Black Americans.


Azsaneé Truss is a PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication and a member of the Center for Media at Risk Steering Committee.  She is a thinking artist who studies the role of multimodal forms in structuring liberatory knowledge production processes. Her work is a Black feminist approach to multimodal theory, grounded in the theoretical and political traditions of cultural studies, performance studies, critical media studies, and Black studies.

Dr. Francesca Tripodi is a sociologist and media scholar whose research examines the relationship between social media, political partisanship, and democratic participation, revealing how Google and Wikipedia are manipulated for political gains.

She is an assistant professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), a senior faculty researcher with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP)(link is external) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an affiliate at the Data & Society Research Institute.

Music Credit: 

  • The Freeharmonic Orchestra – Smooth as Glass found on