Stanford University, Department of Communication

PhD Candidate in Communication Theory and Research, Anticipated Graduation June 2024

Dissertation: “How Tech Went Right: The Rise of Reactionary Politics in Silicon Valley and Online”

University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute

MSc in the Social Science of the Internet, graduated November 2016

Columbia University, Columbia College

BA in Film Studies, graduated May 2011


Refereed Journal Articles

2022. Lewis, Rebecca and Angèle Christin. “Platform Drama: ‘Cancel Culture,’ Celebrity, and the Struggle for Accountability on YouTube.” New Media & Society.

2021. Christin, Angèle and Rebecca Lewis. “The Drama of Metrics: Status, Spectacle, and Resistance Among YouTube Drama Creators.” Social Media + Society.

2021. Lewis, Rebecca, Alice Marwick, and William Partin.“‘We dissect stupidity and respond to it’: Response videos and networked harassment on YouTube.” American Behavioral Scientist.

2019. Lewis, Rebecca. “‘This is what the news won’t show you’: YouTube creators and the reactionary politics of micro-celebrity.” Television and New Media.

White Papers

2018. Lewis, Rebecca. Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube. New York: Data & Society Research Institute.

2017. Marwick, Alice and Rebecca Lewis. Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online. New York: Data & Society Research Institute.

Book Chapters

In Progress. Lewis, Rebecca. “The Rabbit Hole: Examining and Historicizing a Metaphor for Algorithmic Radicalization.” In Digital Media Metaphors: A Critical Introduction (Johan Farkas and Marcus Maloney, eds.). Abingdon, UK: Routledge (invited contributor, volume under contract).

Forthcoming. Lewis, Rebecca. “The Anti-Democratic Feedback Loop: Right-Wing Media Responses to January 6.” In Media and January 6th (Daniel Kreiss et al, eds.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

2023. Lewis, Rebecca. “How to Research Online Hate and Harassment.” SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online. SAGE Publications Ltd.

2019. Donovan, Joan, Rebecca Lewis, and Brian Friedberg. “Parallel Ports: Sociotechnical Change From the Alt-Right to Alt-Tech.” In Post-Digital Cultures of the Far Right: Online Actions and Offline Consequences in Europe and the US (Maik Fielitz and Nick Thurston, eds.). Verlag, Bielefeld: Transcript Press.

Conference Proceedings

2018. Lewis, Rebecca and Alice Marwick. “Taking the red pill: Ideological motivations for spreading online disinformation.” Understanding and addressing the disinformation ecosystem. Philadelphia, PA: First Draft News.


September 2023 – June 2024. The Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University, Dissertation Fellow

September 2023 – August 2024. The Stanford Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University, Graduate Fellow

September 2020 – June 2024. The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Graduate Affiliate

January 2020 – December 2020. Lightspark Foundation, Impact Guild Fellow for Social Good, 2020

September 2018 – March 2023. Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Stanford University, Gerhard Casper Fellow


Panels Organized

2024. “The Medium Is the (Free Market) Message: Technology and Media in 20th-Century Libertarianism” panel. American Historical Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, January 4-7 (upcoming).

2023. “Technology, Culture, and the Construction of ‘Fringe'” panel. Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, Honolulu, HI, November 8-11 (upcoming).

Papers Presented

2024. Lewis, Rebecca. “‘Jetsons on the Prairie’: Fusing Futurist Libertarianism and Social Conservatism in Silicon Valley, 1992-2002.” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, January 4-7 (upcoming).

2023. Lewis, Rebecca. “Out of the Rabbit Hole: The YouTube Algorithm and the Far Right.” Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, Honolulu, HI, November 8-11 (upcoming).

2023. Lewis, Rebecca. “The Techno-Future and the American Past: Reactionary Visions of the Digital Age.” Stanford-Leuphana Academy of Media Studies, Berlin, Germany, June 29.

2023. Dahlke, Ross, Yunkang Yang, Jason Greenfield, Josephine Lukito, Bin Chen, Megan Brown, and Rebecca Lewis. “The Secret Sauce of the U.S. Right-Wing Media Economy: A Multimodal Case Study of Alex Joes and Infowars.” International Communication Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, May 28.

2022. Lewis, Rebecca. “Gender Knowledge: The Production and Dissemination of Antifeminist Ideas Through Media Technologies in the 1980s.” American Political History Conference, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, June 11.

2021. Lewis, Rebecca and Angèle Christin. “Platform Drama: ‘Cancel Culture,’ Celebrity, and the Struggle for Accountability on YouTube.” American Sociology Association Media Preconference, held remotely, August 5.

2020. Lewis, Rebecca, Alice Marwick, and William Partin. “‘We dissect stupidity and respond to it’: Response videos and networked harassment.” International Communication Association, held remotely, May 21.

2019. Lewis, Rebecca, and Leon Yin. “Far-Right YouTube and Search Engine Optimization: Manipulations in ‘Ranking Cultures.’” Association of Internet Researchers, Brisbane, Australia (presented remotely), October 3.

2019. Lewis, Rebecca. “Performed Persona Scams: Deceptive Personal Branding and Shifting Concepts of Fraud on Social Media Platforms.” Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, New Orleans, LA, September 7.

2019. Friedberg, Brian, and Rebecca Lewis. “Parallel Ports: Sociotechnical Change from the ‘Alt-right’ to Alt-tech.” American Sociology Association. New York City, NY, August 13.

2019. Davison, Patrick, Rebecca Lewis, and Alice Marwick. “‘You Are the Meme Militia’: How Alt-Right Digital Media Perpetuates White Supremacy.” International Communication Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, May 28.

2019. Lewis, Rebecca. “Celebrity, Fandom, and the Source Credibility of Political Influencers.” Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, March 15.

2018. Lewis, Rebecca. “Candidates of Instagram: Political Image-Building and the Co-optation of Micro-Celebrity Online.” American Sociology Association Media Preconference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 10.


2023. “Conservative Ideologies of the Future in Silicon Valley.” Political Ideologies of Silicon Valley workshop hosted by The Center for Economy and Society at Johns Hopkins University and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, April 27-29.

2021. “How Political Celebrities Spread Disinformation.” Event hosted by Florida Atlantic University’s School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, held remotely, October 13. Recording available at

2021. “Researching Far-Right Movements Online: An Introduction to Methods.” Presentation at the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism’s Summer Institute on Contesting Supremacism, held remotely, August 20.

2021. “Authoritarian Cults, Media Indoctrination, and Shared Psychosis.” Panel presentation at the World Mental Health Coalition Project for National Healing Series, held remotely, July 17.

2021. “Radicalization: From Conspiracy Theories to Violent Extremism.” Panel discussion at the Atlantic Council’s 360/Open Summit, held remotely, June 23. Recording available at

2021. “Racism and Radicalization in the Digital Age: A Robust Response.” Keynote speech at the National Council of Urban Education Associates 2021 Virtual Summer Meeting, held remotely, June 11.

2021. “How Did We Get Here? Where Do We Go Next? Information, Media & U.S. Democracy.” Panel with Deen Freelon, Daniel Kreiss, Rachel Kuo, Alice Marwick, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Shannon McGregor, and Francesca Tripodi at The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, held remotely, January 26.

2020. “Internet Hate Speech: What Can We Do?” Panel with Rebecca MacKinnon at Middlebury College, held remotely, November 16.

2019. “Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Reactionary Right on YouTube.” Presentation at Cultural Formations of the ‘Alt-Right’ Symposium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, October 13.

2019. “The Fake News Cycle: Searching for Truth in the Digital Age.” Panel presentation at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, April 17.

2018. “What is the FATE of Platforms? Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics Under Review.” Panel with Joan Donovan, Tarleton Gillespie, Robert Gorwa, and Britt Paris at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, October 12.

2018. “Media Manipulation and the Online Far Right.” Annual Faculty Symposium: Techno Cultures in the 21st Century. Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, NY, April 13.

2018. “Looking Past the Facts: A Sociotechnical Approach to the Far-Right Alternative Press.” Presented with Alice Marwick at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, March 8.

2017. Lewis, Rebecca and Alice Marwick. “Taking the Red Pill: Ideological Motivations for Spreading Online Disinformation.” Understanding and Addressing the Disinformation Ecosystem, University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication, Philadelphia, PA, December 15-16.

2017. “Media Manipulation and Disinformation.” Nouvelles Pratiques du Journalisme 2017. Sciences Po École de Journalisme, Paris, France, December 4.

2017. “Comparative Lessons from Violent Extremism and Far-Right Subcultures.” Perspectives on Why Audiences Are Susceptible to Disinformation. National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, D.C, September 25.


2023. “Platform Drama: ‘Cancel culture,’ Celebrity, and Accountability on Social Media.” Hosted by the Stanford Cyber Policy Center Winter Seminar Series, Stanford, CA, February 7. Recording available at

2021. “Out of the Rabbit Hole: From Radicalization to Amplification of Far-Right Content Online.” Virtual event hosted by the Stanford Cyber Policy Center, Stanford, CA, October 5. Recording available at


Instructor of Record and Course Designer, Stanford University

History of YouTube – Summer 2022

Teaching Assistant, Stanford University

Media, Culture, and Society (Professor Fred Turner) – Spring 2022, Winter 2020

Politics of Algorithms (Professor Angèle Christin) – Fall 2019, Spring 2023

Lies, Trust, and Technology (Professor Jeffrey Hancock) – Winter 2019

Published Teaching Materials

2017. Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online Syllabus. Data & Society.


2017 – 2018. Data & Society Research Institute, Research Analyst, Media Manipulation Project; New York, New York

Project Lead Researchers: danah boyd, Founder and President of Data & Society; Alice Marwick, Associate Professor of Communication at UNC Chapel Hill; and Joan Donovan, Research Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy

2015 – 2016. University of Oxford, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Research Assistant, Online News and Digital Intermediaries Project; Oxford, UK

Project Lead Researchers: Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of Research and Sarah Anne Gantner, Research Fellow

2011 – 2015. Crimson Hexagon Software, Director of Social Impact and Diversity Research Initiatives, Boston, MA

Social media analytics sentiment analysis algorithm developed by Professor Gary King at the Harvard Institute for Social Science


2022. Heslin vs. Alex Jones et al.

Testifying expert on the topic of disinformation and conspiracy theories for the plaintiffs (the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis) in litigation, Austin, Texas, July 29. Recording available at

2021. Inquiry into Influencer Culture

UK Parliament House of Commons, Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee. Expert panelist on the role of influencers in spreading disinformation.


2021. Cath, Corinne and Rebecca Lewis. “Space Cowboys: What Internet history tells us about the inevitable shortcomings of a tech-bro led Space Race.” Tech Policy Press, August 2.

2020. Lewis, Rebecca. “White Supremacy in Silicon Valley.” Tech Workers Coalition Newsletter, October 16.

2020. Lewis, Rebecca. “All of YouTube, Not Just the Algorithm, is a Far-Right Propaganda Machine.” FFWD. January 8.

2018. Lewis, Rebecca. “Why Influence Matters in the Spread of Misinformation.” Data & Society: Points, November 20.

2017. Lewis, Rebecca and Alice Marwick. “Megyn Kelly Fiasco is one more instance of far-right outmaneuvering media.” Columbia Journalism Review, June 13.


Communication Department Works in Progress Group, Stanford University; Co-organizer, Fall 2021 – Present

Science and Technology Studies Film Forum, Stanford University; Co-founder and operations manager, Fall 2019 – Present

Peer Reviewer for academic publications and conference papers: Conference on Computer-Supported Work & Social Computing (CSCW), Journal of Digital Social Research, New Media & Society, Political Communication


French: Fluent reading, writing, and speaking.