Research Projects

Ongoing Projects

This project was born from a collaboration between MediaLaB, the l’Osservatorio sulla Comunicazione Politica e Pubblica(Department of Political Studies, University of Turin) the CoLing Lab (Department of Philology, University of Pisa), and the Institute of Informatics and Telematics (National Council for Research, Pisa).

Research objectives: to analyze political communication on social media sites and to study interactions between politics, media, parties and citizens during the last 2018 elections of the Italian Parliament.


Research directors: Roberta Bracciale, Alessandro Lenci, Cristopher Cepernich, Maurizio Tesconi.

Team members: Massimiliano Andretta, Marinella Belluati, Alessandro Bondielli, Stefano Cresci, Fabio Del Vigna, Tiziano Fagni, Cesar Crisosto, Antonio Martella, Lucia Passaro.

Duration: 1 December 2017 -> (today)



The project was born thanks to a collaboration between MediaLaB and the Research Valorization office of the University of Pisa. Since 2016, MediaLaB is responsible of the social media communication planning and implementation for the PhD+ project – a university programme for masters’ degree and PhD students dedicated to research valorization, innovation and encouragement of entrepreneurial spirit – giving the chance to students, through curricular training, to learn the basic notions on social media management of research and non-profit organizations.

Social media management objectives: to train a team of students on the basic notions of social media management, creation and administration of the institutional communications for the PhD+ programme of the University of Pisa.

Research objectives: to analyze the results of the institutional communication plan implemented during the programme and to study online social networks developed among participants of the programme, students and founders.

Research director: Roberta Bracciale.

Team Members: Cesar Crisosto, Junio Aglioti Colombini, Saverio Ascari, Idamaria Franco, Giammario Spada, Michele Toccafondo

Duration: January 2016 -> (today)



MediaLaB has studied for many years the evolution of populism on different social media platforms, specially Twitter and Facebook. The research is based on the considerations that today’s hybrid media system (Chadwick 2013) and popularization of politics (Mazzoleni e Sfardini 2009), driven by an increasingly present media logic (Mazzoleni 2012), have contributed to transform populism from a “thin ideology” (Mudde 2004) into a communication style used by many political actors regardless of political affiliation. In this context, populist ideology as described by Mudde (2004) is present in fragments (Engesser, Ernst, Esser e Buchel 2016) not easily detected and not always present in political communication contents.

Research objectives: (i) identification of distinctive traits of populism as communication style; (ii) their diffusion on the most used social media sites; (iii) analysis of engagement produced by this specific style.

Research director: Roberta Bracciale.

Team members: Antonio Martella, Cesar Crisosto, Luca Cesarano, Kodjo Gboloha, Giorgio Giachè, Marta Lucchini, Sara Mazzoncini, Francesco Passaretti.

Duration: September 2015 -> (today)


Past Projects


Thanks to the collaboration with the Institute of Informatics and Telematics (National Council for Research, Pisa), this project intended to empirically verify the changes developed in both public opinion and the diffusion of information on social media platforms. During the 2016 Italian referendum, Twitter users were interrogated, with an automatized method, about different political issues.

Research objective: to empirically verify how a concept like the “Wisdom of Crowds” (Galton 1907) is current even in context with strong polarization of debate and reciprocal influence.

Research directors: Roberta Bracciale, Maurizio Tesconi.

Team members: Stefano Cresci, Antonio Martella.

Duration: 3 October 2016 -> 3 April 2017



This project was born from a collaboration between MediaLaB, Institute of Informatics and Telematics (National Council for Research, Pisa), the local Newspaper “Il Tirreno” and the startup WEVO s.r.l..

Research objective: to analyze political communication on social media platforms and study interactions between politicians, media, parties and citizens during an electoral campaign period such as the election of the Regional Council in Tuscany.

Research directors: Massimiliano Andretta, Roberta Bracciale, Maurizio Tesconi.

Team members: Vincenzo Mele, Eugenio Pizzimenti, Lorenzo Viviani, Alessandro Albertini, Enrico Campo, Fabio Del Vigna, Antonio Martella, Fabiano Catania, Andrea Croce.

Duration: 2 March 2015 – 31 May 2016

Link to the presentation of the project

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