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Kate Starbird - Featured Scholar

Sonia KatyalKate Starbird is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington (UW) in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). Professor Starbird’s research is situated within human-computer interaction (HCI) and the emerging field of crisis informatics, i.e., the study of the how social media and other information-communication technologies (ICTs) are used during crisis events.


Currently, Professor Starbird’s work focuses on the production and spread of online rumors, misinformation, and disinformation during crises — including “natural” disasters, political disruptions, and a global pandemic. In particular, she investigates the “participatory” nature of online disinformation campaigns, exploring both top-down and bottom-up dynamics.


Professor Starbird has received grants from the Knight Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation to create the Center for an Informed Public (CIP); she is the Center’s Co-founder and Director. Formed in 2019, CIP’s mission focuses on resisting strategic misinformation, promoting an informed society, and strengthening democratic discourse.