f.l.t.r. Dr. Felix Reer, Wai Yen Tang Ph.D., Svenja Boberg M.A., Lars-Ole Müller M.A., Carla Schieb M.Sc., Prof. Dr. Thorsten Quandt, Anja Schmitt M.Sc., Dr. Lena Frischlich, Florian Buhl M.A.
© Susanne Lüdeling

Chair of Online Communication

About us / Mission statement

The chair of online communication, headed by Prof. Thorsten Quandt, focuses on societal changes connected to the Internet and new media. The empirical research of the chair follows three central areas that can be understood as the core dimensions of these changes. These three focal areas are: (1) Innovations & technology, (2) the individual, its (self-)perception and everyday life, (3) human coexistence and societal effects. Along these three areas, the chair  investigates several current phenomena and challenges, using classic and innovative empirical methods. The chair’s research and methods operate at the intersection of communication studies, psychology, empirical social sciences and data science.  The primary goal  is to merge different thematic and methodical perspectives and thus to make a substantial contribution to the understanding of societal and communicative changes.

(1)    Foundations of media innovations

The chair conducts research on the general impact of new media on the individual, groups and society.  This is typically groundwork for cutting edge innovations, like VR-, AR and Mixed Reality-Devices, or new types of computer games. Some of these studies are carried out in the chair’s own VR/GameLab.

(2)    Transformations of the individual and its everyday life

The chair is interested in the effects of new media and online communication on the users’ mind, and the impact on their everyday life.  This typically involves recently introduced technologies and current forms of online use. Research projects address the effects of social media or computer games on psycho-social well-being, but also dysfunctional forms of use (like excessive use/addiction).

(3)    Transformation of public communication and society

The chair studies higher-level effects that operate on the meso- or macro-level (i.e. group/interaction effects, societal effects). Again, this includes research on dysfunctional forms of using digital media (like cyberbullying, cyberhate and online propaganda), but also research in the field of (online) journalism and alternative/participatory information sources on the Internet.

  • Staff

    Quandt, Thorsten, Prof. Dr. +49 251 83-23002 E-Mail
    Frischlich, Lena, Dr. +49 251 83-21052 E-Mail
    Reer, Felix , Dr. +49 251 83-24869 E-Mail
    Tang, Wai Yen, Ph.D. +49 251 83-23000 E-Mail
    Boberg, Svenja, M.A. +49 251 83-21051 E-Mail
    Buhl, Florian, M.A. +49 251 83-23009 E-Mail
    Erenler, Yasmin, M.A. +49 251 83-23574 E-Mail
    Wehden, Lars-Ole, M.A. +49 251 83-21273 E-Mail
    Schatto-Eckrodt, Tim, M.A. +49 251 83-21051 E-Mail
    Schmitt, Anja, M.Sc. +49 251 83-23680 E-Mail
    WHK: Kimon Kieslich, B.A.


  • Projects

    PropStop (05/2016 - 04/2019)

    PropStop is a project funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) that aims at studying hidden propaganda disseminations via online media, in order to identify and prove accordant attempts. Throughout the project an interdisciplinary team of statisticians, communication scientists, IT-security researchers, journalists and IT-security companies works together. Besides a large-scale examination of propaganda characteristics online, huge quantities of public opinion statements in different areas of the digital public sphere will be analyzed for repeated semantic and technical patterns. The insights gained throughout the project will be used to enhance our detection of massive, hidden propaganda attacks, to develop technologies to identify these attacks, and to improve our abilities to verify propaganda attacks. Real-time simulations of massive hidden propaganda attacks will provide meaningful insights into the transdisciplinary applicability of the gained findings.

    The Internet and Mental Health (05/2016 - 04/2018)

    Groundbreaking technologies change not only our daily lives and habits but also affect our perceptions, feelings, communication structures, and self image.  Never before, however, has the discussion of the impact of a technological development on mental health been as intense as it has been since the introduction of the internet. One would expect psychiatric experts to take the lead in this discussion.  At present, most of the commentary by psychiatrists and psychologists seems to be as influenced by their own attitudes towards modern technology as it is by empirical data and scientific insight.  There are reasons for this.  While one need not look far for inflammatory discussions of „internet addiction,“ a scientific debate amongst psychiatric professionals on this topic is seldom to be found.  Despite the fact that many of the accusations found in the media about internet use can be disproven, they continue to enjoy great popularity.

    Research Training Group 1712/1 “Trust and Communication in a Digitized World” (04/2012 – 09/2016)

    The research training group examines how trust can be developed and maintained under the conditions of new forms of communication. Digitized means of communication change the structure and sustainability of trust because firstly, familiar face-to-face communication is replaced by digitized interactions, secondly, virtual social and office networks emerge and finally, because new forms of relationships between the public, organisations and individuals develop. The postgraduate programme analyses the consequences of these processes for the establishment of trust relationships by the example of four prototypical areas: media, economy, science and sports.

  • Latest Publications

  • Talks

    • Wintterlin, F; Frischlich, L; Boberg, S; Schatto-Eckrodt, T; Reer, F; Quandt, T (): "Corrective actions in the information disorder. Presumed influence and the countering of distorted information". 69th ICA Annual Conference, Washington, .
    • Frischlich, Lena Boberg, Svenja Schatto-Eckrodt, Tim Wintterlin, Florian Quandt, Thorsten (): "On the relevance of person characteristics and media usage patterns for the confrontation with hate-speech and personal victimization in the Internet." Jahrestagung der deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikation (DGPUK), Münster, Deutschland, .
    • Boberg, Svena; Frischlich, Lena; Wintterlin, Florian; Schatto-Eckrodt, Tim; Quandt, Thorsten (): "". MISDOOM Multidisciplinary International Symposium on Disinformation in Online Media, Hamburg, Deutschland, .
    • Schatto-Eckrodt, Tim; Boberg, Svenja; Wintterlin, Florian; Quandt, Thorsten (): "". MISDOOM Multidisciplinary International Symposium on Disinformation in Online Media, Hamburg, Germany, .
    • Reer, Felix; Wehden, Lars-Ole; Janzik, Robin; Quandt, Thorsten (): "Süchtig nach dem Smartphone? Eine Repräsentativbefragung zu Verbreitung und Korrelaten problematischer Smartphone-Nutzung in Deutschland". Jahrestagung der DGPuK-Fachgruppe Rezeptions- und Wirkungsforschung 2019, Mainz, .

    • Quandt, T. (): "". SSM Kongress, Thun, .
    • Frischlich L, Boberg S, Schatto-Eckrodt T, Wintterlin F, Quandt T (): "". DGPS, Frankfurt, .
    • Frischlich, Lena; Boberg, Svenja; Schatto-Eckrodt, Tim; Quandt, Thorsten (): "False Information—real problems? Online-misinformation, political anger, inefficiency, trust and the intention to vote populists". Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA), Prague, .
    • Frischlich, Lena; Boberg, Svenja; Schatto-Eckrodt, Tim; Quandt, Thorsten. (): "Would the real reader please stand up? Detection of fake accounts and social bots in participatory journalistic offerings." Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikation (DGPUK). , Mannheim, .
    • Frischlich, Lena; Boberg; Svenja; Schatto-Eckrodt, Tim; Wintterlin, Florian (): "". Multidisciplinary perspectives on radicalization, Cologne, Germany, .

    • Frischlich, Lena; Boberg, Svenja; Quandt, Thorsten (): "Online newspapers as target of strategic user-generated content —Dealing with hate-speech, fake news and covert propaganda." Annual Meeting of the International Journal of Press and Politics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, .
    • Quandt T, Boberg S, Frischlich L (): "The wall against the dark? How journalists and community managers identify and interpret hidden online propaganda." 66th annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA), San Diego, CA, USA, .
    • Frischlich L, Quandt T, Boberg S (): "". Vortrag im Rahmen der Jahrestagung der deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikation (DGPUK), Düsseldorf, Deutschland, .

    • Quandt, T.; Festl, R. (): "Risks of online use". 22. Bundeskongress für Schulpsychologie, Berlin, .
    • Festl, R.; Quandt, T. (): "". 50th Convention of the German Psychologist Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie, DGPS), Leipzig, .
    • Buhl, F.; Günther, E.; Quandt, T. (): "Unambiguous Burstiness: Towards Explaining the Dynamics of Digital News Flows from Opportunity Structures, News Factors, and Topics". 66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Fukuoka, Japan, .

    • Festl, R.; Quandt, T.; Scharkow, M., Vogelgesang, J. (): "". Future Challenges of Aggression Research, Linz, .
    • Quandt, T. (): "". Ladenburg Roundtable „Internet and Mental Health“, Daimler & Benz Stiftung, Ladenburg, .
    • Buhl, F.; Günther, E.; Quandt, T. (): "Patterns of Immediacy: News Diffusion Processes among German Online News Sites". 65th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, .
    • Günther, E.; Engelmann, I.; Neuberger, C.; Quandt, T. (): "". Tagung „Re-Inventing Journalism“ der Fachgruppen für Journalismusforschung der ECREA und DGPuK, ZHAW Winterthur, .

    • Buhl, F.; Günther, E.; Quandt, T. (): "No time to think? A big-data approach to studying news diffusion processes among online news websites". 5th European Communication Conference (ECREA), Lissabon, Portugal, .
    • Günther, E.; Quandt, T. (): "". Jahrestagung der Fachgruppe Methoden der DGPuK, LMU München, .
    • Scharkow, M.; Festl, R.; Quandt, T. (): "". 27th congress of Fachverband Sucht e.v., Heidelberg, .
    • Günther, E.; Domahidi, E.; Quandt, T. (): "". Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK), Universität Passau, .
    • Günther, E.; Quandt, T. (): "". Jahrestagung der International Communication Association (ICA), Seattle, .

    • Günther, E.; Quandt, T. (): "Keyword-based Topic Detection of Online News". Jahrestagung der Fachgruppe Computervermittelte Kommunikation der DGPuK, Universität Wien, .
    • Günther, E.; Festl, R.; Quandt, T. (): "". Jahrestagung der International Communication Association (ICA), London, .

    • Günther, E.; Festl, R.; Quandt, T. (): "". ECC Digital Games Research Pre-Conference, Istanbul, .
    • Günther, E.; Festl, R.; Quandt, T. (): "". Jahrestagung der International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Durban, .