I’m Will Schulz. I’m a newly-minted PhD in the Politics Department at Princeton University, and an incoming post-doc in the Stanford Social Media Lab.

In my research, I develop methods to both generate and analyze data on ordinary people’s speech, which I collect using surveys, social media, and audiovisual discussions.

My dissertation investigates why online discourse is polarized by partisan orthodoxy, despite the fact that most people’s political views are moderate and nuanced. I find the discrepancy is largely explained by self-censorship of moderate and heterodox speech.

My latest project uses Mastodon as a tool to conduct experiments on simulated online platforms, in order to understand how online discourse is shaped by the interaction of users’ social incentives with platforms’ technological affordances.

“The Disappointment of Cyberspace,” DALL•E in the style of Caravaggio. More →