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Dr Liam McLoughlin

  • Overview



    Dr Liam McLoughlin joined the Department of Film, Media, and Cultural Studies in 2020 as a post-doctoral research fellow on the Localizing Content Governance project.

    His research explores social media platforms and how they interact with the communication practices of society. He has approached this in relation to five areas of political communication: elite-citizen communication, participation & campaigns, social news, online political communities, and representation. Liam also has research interests within the study of internet cultures, content moderation practices, and online harms.

    His journal publications within this area have appeared in British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Journal of Legislative Studies, Intelligence and National Security, and Information Polity. Liam has also widely spoken about his research in news outlets including the BBC, New Scientist, Newstatesmen, & Al Jazeera. Furthermore, he has presented his research internationally, including an exploratory seminar on political violence at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. From 2019 onwards, Liam is the Communications Officer for the Political Studies Associations Early Career Network.


    • Ph.D, University of Salford, 2019
    • MA, University of Manchester, 2014
    • BA (Hons), University of Salford, 2013

    Web profiles

    Professional activities

    Committee Member, Political Studies Association, Early Career Network (Communications Officer)

    Professional memberships

    • Political Studies Association


  • Research


    Research interests

    • Social Media
    • Political Communication
    • Internet Cultures & Online Communities
    • Content Moderation
    • Online Harms/Abuse

    Research overview

    My research seeks to make sense of the ways in which society communicates through social media platforms. I have focused this through the lenses of political communication, participation, online communities, and moderation.

    In this area have previously sought to understand how social media has changed the representative relationship between citizens and those that seek to represent them (MPs) in the United Kingdom. Likewise, I have conducted research into the political use of internet memes; aggressive (and in some instances abusive) tweets to political representatives; and the use of social media by state institutions such as the Houses of Parliament & GCHQ.

    I am currently researching the governance of social media groups and online communities through the content moderation practices of Facebook Administrators and Moderators. In this, the Localizing Content Governance project seeks to understand how online “mods” manage and curate online communities with thousands of people, polarised debate, and online abuse.

    Through the study of the above, I have a developed a rich methodological diversity, and a strong advocate of interdisciplinary and mixed methods. Some methods I have used include: content analysis; discourse analysis; elite interviews; natural language processing; network & social media analysis; statistical & data analysis; surveys; and triangulation methodology.

    A full list of my publications, conference papers, and media engagements are available on my personal website here.

  • Business and community

    Business and community

    I have media training.


    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • Online abuse of politicians
    • Content moderation
    • Internet culture and politics
    • Use of social media by MPs/politicians