Yini Zhang studies social media and political communication. She focuses on public attention and opinion on social media and their relationship with journalism and democracy, using computational methods.
She is particularly interested in using network analysis to understand actors of communication and the media environment that enables, constrains, and is impacted by them. This is reflected in her current research including: 1) actors who originate and spread disinformation or misinformation, 2) participants and counter-participants in online activism, and 3) dynamics of information flows and communication influence as manifested in networks of actors interacting with each other.
She also collaborates with experts in other disciplines to develop computational methods to advance communication research.