Welcome to my home page! My name is Yingdan Lu; I’m currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, advised by Professor Jennifer Pan.

My research focuses on digital media, political communication, and online information manipulation. I integrate large-scale data and computational methods into the pursuit of social scientific theory and analysis. My work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Political Communication, Human-Computer Interaction, and Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media.

My first research strand specializes in social media propaganda, media governance, and their effects on people in authoritarian regimes: What roles do digital media play in authoritarian governance? How do authoritarian governments use information and communications technology for political propaganda and information control? How does public opinion evolve in response to the unexpected crisis? What are the downstream effects of regularly consuming political content from governmental social media?

Under the second research line, I explore the online diffusion of misinformation and the presence of digital inequality in multiple national and platform settings. My ongoing projects examine how misinformation is structured in multimedia format, how multimodal features of fact-checking videos affect perceptions and engagement, and how wealth inequality exists among social media influencers.

Methodologically, I employ various computational methods and massive multimedia datasets to facilitate my research. In particular, my research examines massive textual data such as social media posts and government documents through natural language processing and machine learning methods. I have also extended my research from text to visual data, for which I apply computer vision techniques and combine analysis of video, text, and meta-data to facilitate quantitative analysis on massive video datasets. Meanwhile, by combining the Screenomics approach and unsupervised machine learning, I can analyze media use through millions of moment-by-moment screenshots collected from mobile users in different contexts.

I obtained my M.A. degree from the Center of East Asian Studies at Stanford University and a B.A. degree from the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University, advised by Professor Larry Diamond and Professor Jianbin Jin, respectively. Prior to my Ph.D. study, I have worked as a research intern or visiting scholar at institutes such as Institute of Contemporary China Studies at Tsinghua University, JICA Research Institute, and Center for the Digital Future. Besides academia, I have been a journalism intern and public relations intern in China News Agency, Bloomberg Businessweek China, Bayer China, and Ruder Finn Asia.