IMG_0630 Stine Eckert Head ShotI’m an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University and Chair of the Feminist Scholarship Division (FSD) of the International Studies Association (ICA).

My research interests include the intersections of social media and gender; social media and minorities; online abuse; the democratic potential of social media and international, comparative approaches.

My teaching experience includes feminist media theory and interviewing as a research method for graduate students; and for undergraduate/master students: journalism and new media; news reporting, writing and editing; broadcast news writing, reporting and editing; media literacy; media and journalism history and the Wikid GRRLs curriculum to teach online skills to middle and high school girls. | @stineeckert


Call for Participants Doxing Study/ Gesucht: Teilnehmer*innen für Doxing-Studie 

Has your private information been released online without your permission?

We seek people whose private information has been released online without their permission. This private information then can be used for harassing people. This process is also called doxing. In this study we seek to better understand the experience of being doxed and its impact on people and online communication.

Are you

  • over 18 years old
  • and have had private information released online by others without your permission?

We will interview you via phone/Skype/Google hang out for about 30-45 minutes. Your name will be confidential and won’t be used in the study.

If you are interested in participating or have questions, email:

Gesucht: Teilnehmer*innen für wissenschaftliche Studie zu doxing: private Information online gestellt ohne Zustimmung

Für eine wissenschaftliche Studie an der Wayne State University suche ich Personen, deren private Information online gestellt wurde, ohne Erlaubnis der Person zu der die Information gehört (auch doxing genannt). Studienteilnehmer*innen müssen 18 Jahre oder älter sein.

Für die Studie führe ich 30-45 minütige Interviews durch, per Skype/Google Hang Out/Telefon zu Ihren Erfahrungen mit Invasionen der Privatsphäre online.

In der Studie werden keine Namen und identifizierenden Merkmale erwähnt.

Bei Interesse melden Sie sich bei Dr. Stine Eckert, Wayne State University, Detroit:

August 2017

I am thrilled that the first study of our grant from the World Health Organization is now published: Health-related disaster communication and social media: Mixed-method systematic review is published in Health Communication as an online first article.

This mixed-method evidence synthesis drew on Cochrane methods and principles to systematically review literature published between 2003 and 2016 on the best social media practices to promote health protection and dispel misinformation during disasters.

Seventy-nine studies employing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods on risk communication during disasters in all UN-languages were reviewed, finding that agencies need to contextualize the use of social media for particular populations and crises. Social media are tools that still have not become routine practices in many governmental agencies regarding public health in the countries studied.

Social media, especially Twitter and Facebook (and equivalents in countries such as China), need to be incorporated into daily operations of governmental agencies and implementing partners to build familiarity with them before health-related crises happen. This was especially observed in U.S. agencies, local government, and first responders but also for city governments and school administrations in Europe.

For those that do use social media during health-related risk communication, studies find that public relations officers, governmental agencies, and the general public have used social media successfully to spread truthful information and to verify information to dispel rumors during disasters.

Few studies focused on the recovery and preparation phases and on countries in the Southern hemisphere, except for Australia. The vast majority of studies did not analyze the demographics of social media users beyond their geographic location, their status of being inside/outside the disaster zone; and their frequency and content of posting. Socioeconomic demographics were not collected and/or analyzed to drill deeper into the implications of using social media to reach vulnerable populations. Who exactly is reached via social media campaigns and who needs to be reached with other means has remained an understudied area.

Eckert, S. Sopory, P., Day, A., Wilkins, L., Padgett, D., Novak, J. … Gamhewage, G. (2017). Health-related disaster communication and social media: Mixed-method systematic review. Health Communication. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2017.1351278. [Online First: August 21, 2017]


July 2017

IMG_20170719_155357I am happy to see the publication of my article “Fluid public clusters in Western democracies: Political women bloggers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland.”  

It introduces my theory of fluid public clusters and argues that national contexts still matter in expressions of women in online spaces. In ever evolving fluid public clusters, women bloggers are a social collective as they share similar situations while acknowledging that people have specific and differing experience that they bring to public deliberations.

The article is published in the Blue Book of Media and Gender. Report on the Development of Media and Gender in China (2015-2016), a bi-annual research report edited by the UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender and the Media and Gender Institute of the Communication University of China.

July 2017

My article on online abuse, gender and policy: “Net neutrality: Too neutral on online abuse” is now online and free to download on The Gender Policy Report website of the University of Minnesota. 


While the Federal Communication Commission in the U.S. debates the elimination of network neutrality (which will widen the “digital divide”), in the U.K., new Crown Prosecution Service guidelines, in effect since October 2016, allow for prosecuting online offenses such as the use of derogatory hashtags, images altered to humiliate people, and “mobbing.” In Germany, the lower house just passed a bill to fine social media that do not remove content that obviously violates national law within 24 hours of its posting, with the German secretary of justice saying that following such laws was a “prerequisite” for freedom of speech online. Read more.

June 2017



May 2017

My study “‘LinkedIn is my office; Facebook my living room, Twitter the neighborhood bar’: Media scholars’ liminal use of social media for peer and public communication,” with C. C. Olson and V. LaPoe, is now published in the Journal of Communication Inquiry. 

This study grounds 45 interviews with media scholars in liminality theory and analyzes how scholars use social media as they transition to combined offline and online communication. Scholars employ highly personal strategies to decide if and how to integrate social media into their professional lives for peer and public communication. Scholars struggle with a double bind of needing to be social media savvy while worrying about career consequences of posting publicly. Few best practices exist.

May 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 10.04.31 AM

I am thrilled to be awarded the 2017 Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship at Wayne State University.

The theme of the fellowship is revolution and I will use the award to research the dynamics of gender in newsrooms. I will analyze how much has changed or is in the process of changing, or not, regarding work culture and decision-making processes as more women come into leadership positions in newsrooms.

March 2017

Our USAID-funded study on how to strengthen women’s political and civic participation in developing countries is published.

Our Wayne State University Interdisciplinary Working Group received a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Institute of International Education (IIE) to analyze existing research on how to increase the civic and political participation of women, especially in developing countries. According to the university, this is the first time Wayne State University has received a USAID grant.

Our report is now published and available here:  Women’s Participation 2017

PIs included Dr. Stine Eckert (communication), Dr. Sharon Lean and Dr. Kyu-Nahm Jun from political science. Graduate student team members were Ph.D. candidates Juan Liu (communication), Nicole Gerring and Matthew Lacouture (political science) and Amanda Walker (history).

WSU logoThis report/website is made possible with support from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID; the United States Government; or the Democracy Fellows and Grants Program implementer, IIE.


My study “Fighting for recognition: Online abuse of women bloggers in Germany, Switzerland, UK and US” is now published in New Media & Society.

Women who blog about politics or identify as feminist in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States face great risks of online abuse. In-depth interviews with 109 bloggers who write about feminisms, family, and/or maternity politics revealed that 73.4% had negative experiences due to blogging and/or social media use. Most of these negative experiences involved not only abusive comments but also stalking, trolls, rape threats, death threats, and unpleasant offline encounters. Response strategies included moderating comments, exposing abuse, adaptation, and solidarity. I argue that the democratic potential of social media in democracies remains haphazard because online abuse is not fully recognized as entangling online and offline communication, constituted and constructed through technological, legal, social, and cultural factors. Using the theoretical approaches of digital feminisms, I call for more systematic empirical work on global recognition of online abuse as punishable crime


My study How to Cover Rape: U.S. Journalists’ Critique of Rolling Stone’s Campus Rape Story, with Linda Steiner, is now published in the current issue of Media Report to Women.


raceOur study on The Democratic Potential of Feminist Twitter is published now in Rebecca Lind’s edited volume Race and Gender in Electronic Media. Content, Context, Culture as part of Routledge’s Electronic Media Research Series. The series was started as an initiative by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) to spark more original research which is shared during its annual symposium. You can read more about the book here and browse the table of content here.

Steiner, L., & Eckert, S. (2016). The Democratic potential of feminist Twitter. In Lind, R. (Ed.), Race and Gender in Electronic Media: Content, Context, Culture. New York, NY: Routledge.

JUNE 2016

bookMy study with Linda Steiner on Feminist Uses of Social Media is now published in MAY 2016“>Defining Identities and the Changing Scope of Culture in Digital Age, edited by Alison Novak and Imaani Jamillah El-Burki. Check it out; below is our abstract:

The internet has clearly become crucial for feminist organizing, enabling feminist associations to undertake both campaigns and counter-campaigns. Feminist groups and individuals are using social media to advocate policy, fight policy, promote discussions of problems, and argue against anti-feminist, misogynist and anti-progressive ideologies. This textual analysis of feminist accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest demonstrates that feminist individuals and groups used these platforms to discuss structural gender issues, aspects of identity, daily practices, provide motivational material, and both justify and defend intersectional feminisms. Few groups on any site were anti-feminist. Using the theory of fluid public clusters, this chapter argues that social media are especially significant for minority feminists and feminists of color; they enable White and majority feminists to go beyond rhetorical proclamations of intersectionality and to enact alliances.


WHO Grant to Research Emergency Risk Communication

photoSince the winter semester 2016 I have been working with a team in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University to create an evidence syntheses to support the WHO guideline on emergency risk communication. I will focus on the use of social media in risk and emergency communication as well as German literature on risk communication.


Continue reading