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Weiai (Wayne)  Xu - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Weiai (Wayne) Xu

Associate Professor of Communication and Affiliated Faculty at Computational Social Science Institute | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Wayne Xu studies what he calls the "three Ds" on internet platforms: discord, distrust and dishonesty.

Expertise (5)

Disinformation on social media plaforms

China’s Digital Public Diplomacy Operations during the COVID-19 Crisis.


Dishonesty on internet platforms

Computational communication


Wayne Xu's research on how radical political groups use Twitter and other social media platforms has been of particular interest to the media.

His study of the "three Ds" on internet platforms: Discord, Distrust, and Dishonesty, looked at disinformation/misinformation, polarization and propaganda. He uses computational methods to track the networked diffusion and mobilization of ideas and people on digital platforms.

Social Media






Dr. Weiai Wayne Xu on Deplatforming the Alt-Right and Political Division on Social Media


Education (3)

State University of New York at Buffalo: Ph.D., Communication

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee: M.A., Media Studies

Zhejiang University of Technology of China: B.A., Public Administration,

Select Recent Media Coverage (3)

A year after Trump purge, ‘alt-tech’ offers far-right refuge

AP  online


Wayne Xu says comments on the new social media and tech platforms used by the far-right following their expulsion from traditional services such as Twitter. “Content will travel, and ideas will evolve. Content moderation has political consequences,” Xu says. “It plays right into the far-right talking point that the big tech is censoring speech and that the liberal elite is forcing the so-called ‘cancel culture’ onto everyone.”

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Local experts weigh-in on social media platforms temporarily banning Trump



"Professor Wayne Xu studies disinformation in digital spaces. He said while it’s easy to take down one account, it’s hard to change the perspective of an entire online community. 'As users migrate to these fringe platforms and [these fringe platforms] don’t adopt any content moderation and… Facebook and Twitter [do adopt content moderation], it’s just going to push more users to those non-mainstream platforms', he told 22News.a'

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New Studies Ask: Did Social Media Bias Favor Trump or Clinton?

Observer  online


"Jayeon Lee and Weiai Xu dug deeper into the tone of [Trump's] tweets. They found more of them to communicate a negative overall message than a positive one, and that these were the ones that received more favorites or retweets, creating an echo chamber of adverse press. Lee and Xu revealed that Trump, in particular, was more effective at garnering attention for his tweets, especially those that went after Hillary Clinton or attacked the media for having a liberal bias."

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