A PDF version of my CV is available here (updated 01/17/18). What follows is a professional bio and publication list.

My name is Deen Freelon, and I am an associate professor in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My primary research interests lie in the changing relationships between technology and politics, and encompass the study of social media and other digital communications with political applications. Collecting and analyzing large amounts of such data (i.e. millions of tweets, Facebook wall posts, etc.) require methods drawn from the fields of computer science and information science, which I am helping to adapt to the long-standing interests of political communication research. Beyond that, I also have an interest in quantitative research methods generally and intercoder reliability specifically, one manifestation of which is the online intercoder reliability calculator ReCal which is housed on this site.

Here are some papers I’ve written or co-written. I will provide PDF links to preprints whenever copyright allows. New papers will be added as they become available.  Like many academics, I’m often too busy to update this list regularly, so if you’re interested in my most recent work I suggest you visit my automatically-updated Google Scholar profile page.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Freelon, D. Campaigns in control: Analyzing controlled interactivity and message discipline on Facebook. Journal of Information Technology & Politics. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D., McIlwain, C. D., & Clark, M. D. (in press). Quantifying the power and consequences of social media protest. New Media & Society. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D., Becker, A. B., Lannon, B., & Pendleton, A. (2016). Narrowing the gap: Gender and mobilization in net neutrality advocacy. International Journal of Communication, 10(2016), 5908–5930. [link]
  • Freelon, D. (2015). Discourse architecture, ideology, and democratic norms in online political discussion. New Media & Society, 17(5), 772-791[pdf]
  • Freelon, D., & Karpf, D. (2015). Of Big Birds and bayonets: Hybrid Twitter interactivity in the 2012 presidential debates. Information, Communication & Society, 18(4), 390-406. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D., Lynch, M., & Aday, S. (2015). Online fragmentation in wartime: A longitudinal network analysis of tweets about Syria, 2011-2013. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 659, 166-179. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D., Merritt, S., & Jaymes, T. (2015). Focus on the tech: Internet centrism in global protest coverage. Digital Journalism, 3(2), 175-191. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D. (2014). On the interpretation of digital trace data in communication and social computing research. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 58(1), 59-75. [pdf]
  • Lynch, M., Freelon, D., & Aday, S. (2014). Syria in the Arab Spring? The integration and disintegration of Syria’s conflict with the Arab uprisings, 2011-13. Research and Politics. [link]
  • Pearce, K. E., Freelon, D., & Kendzior, S. (2014). The effect of the Internet on civic engagement under authoritarianism: The case of Azerbaijan. First Monday, 19(6). [html]
  • Freelon, D., Wells, C., & Bennett, W. L. (2013). Participation in the youth civic web: Assessing user activity levels in web sites presenting two civic styles. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 10(3), 293-309. [pdf]
  • Aday, S., Farrell, H., Freelon, D., Lynch, M., Sides, J., & Dewar, M. (2013). Watching from afar: Media consumption patterns around the Arab Spring. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(7), 899-919. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D. (2013). ReCal OIR: Ordinal, interval, and ratio intercoder reliability as a web service. International Journal of Internet Science, 8(1), 10-16. [link]
  • Freelon, D., Kriplean, T., Morgan, J., Bennett, W. L., & Borning, A. (2012). Facilitating diverse political engagement with the Living Voters Guide. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 9(3), 279-297. [pdf]
  • Bennett, W. L., Wells, C. & Freelon, D. (2011). Communicating citizenship online: Models of civic learning in the youth web sphere. Journal of Communication 61(5), 835-856. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D. (2011). Talking among themselves: Online youth civic communication in managed and autonomous environments. Information, Communication & Society, 14(2), 198-218. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D. (2010). Analyzing online political discussion using three models of democratic communication. New Media & Society, 12(7), 1172-1190. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D. (2010). ReCal: Intercoder reliability calculation as a web service. International Journal of Internet Science, 5(1), 20-33. [link]
Peer-reviewed articles in archived conference proceedings
  • Kriplean, T., Morgan, J., Freelon, D., Borning, A., & Bennett, L. (2012). Supporting reflective public thought with Considerit. In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 265-274). ACM. [pdf]
  • Kriplean, T., Morgan, J. T., Freelon, D., Borning, A., & Bennett, L. (2011). ConsiderIt: Improving structured public deliberation. In CHI’11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1831-1836). ACM. [pdf]
Selected book chapters, reports, etc.
  • Freelon, D., McIlwain, C. D., & Clark, M. D. (2016). Beyond the hashtags: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the online struggle for offline justice. Washington, DC: Center for Media & Social Impact, American University. [link]
  • Freelon, D. (2015). On the cutting edge of Big Data: Digital politics research in the social computing literature. In S. Coleman and D. Freelon (Eds.), Handbook of Digital Politics (pp. 451-472)Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. [pdf]
  • Freelon, D. (2014). Online civic activism: Where does it fit? Policy & Internet, 6(2), 192-198. [pdf]
  • Lynch, M., Freelon, D., & Aday, S. (2014). Blogs & Bullets III: Syria’s Socially Mediated Civil War. Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace. [pdf]
  • Tufekci, Z., & Freelon, D. (2013). Introduction to the special issue on new media and social unrest. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(7), 843-847. [pdf]
  • Aday, S., Farrell, H., Lynch, M., Sides, J., & Freelon, D. (2012). Blogs & Bullets II: New media & conflict after the Arab Spring. Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace. [pdf]
  • Bennett, W. L., Freelon, D., Hussain, M. M., & Wells, C. (2012). Digital media and youth engagement. In H. Semetko and M. Scammell (Eds.), Handbook of Political Communication (pp. 127-140). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Howard, P. N., Duffy, A., Freelon, D., Hussain, M., Mari, W., & Mazaid, M. (2011). Opening closed regimes: what was the role of social media during the Arab Spring? Seattle, WA: Project on Information Technology & Political Islam (PITPI). [pdf]
  • Bennett, W. L., Freelon, D., & Wells, C. (2010). Changing citizen identity and the rise of a participatory media culture. In L. Sherrod, J. Torney-Purta & C. Flanagan (Eds.), Handbook of Research and Policy on Civic Engagement in Youth (pp. 393-424). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Conference presentations

[see CV above]


  • Freelon, D. (2012). Democracies of design: How discourse architecture shapes online political talk. Unpublished dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
  • Freelon, D. (2008). Managed apprentices or autonomous agents? Assessing online civic designs for digital natives. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

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