Social Media and Society

people using cell phones

The Social Media & Society research area focuses on the impacts of social media on social, political, and personal life. Our current signature projects are:

  • Social Media as a Tool of Ukrainian Resistance against Russia’s War: How pro-Ukrainian actors worldwide participate in national defense through social media platforms.
  • Generative, Pre-Trained Transformer (GPT) Chatbots as Agents against Disinformation: How the rise of GPT-based chatbots like ChatGPT or Google’s Bard can help fight disinformation’s spread on social media platforms.

Featured Episode on IPEC's Podcast

Research Lead

Richard Canevez


Richard Canevez

  • Assistant Professor, Communication, Culture, & Media, and Humanities
  • PhD, Information Science and Technology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • BA, Philosophy, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor


My doctorate is in information sciences and technology from Penn State University, where I studied Indigenous education and telecommunications as a form of empowerment. Prior to my graduate studies, I was a tech entrepreneur, artificial intelligence researcher, and software engineer during which I co-founded a tech startup (SkyPhrase, Inc.) that was eventually purchased by Yahoo! Inc. I have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

Prior to coming to Michigan Tech University, I was a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii where I explored the technologization of peace activism and nonviolence, and the use of digital spaces as a space of resistance for pro-Ukrainian cyber-activists against Russia's 2022 escalation of the war against Ukraine. My research focuses on activism and resistance both in terms of acts of democratic dissent and armed resistance against inter-state aggression, and seeks to draw parallels between the two.