Designing tools, methods and systems that connect rather than divide us to create a healthier society.

We develop methods for understanding current social and mass media ecosystems and design new communications tools and spaces for bridging societal divides.

Political, media, and technological forces have driven us into isolated, like-minded camps hostile toward outside views and ripe for the spread of misinformation, mischaracterization of others, “cancellation,” hateful discourse, and even violence. The loudest, most extreme voices now dominate the public sphere, stifling communication that might bridge ever-widening and increasingly dangerous divides.

The MIT Center for Constructive Communication brings together researchers in AI, computational social science, digital interactive design, and learning technologies with software engineers, journalists, political scientists, designers, and community organizers to explore and address the effects of deepening social fragmentation in the United States.

ANALYSIS OF MILLIONS OF POLITICAL TWEETS FROM THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN. VISUALIZATION revealed a social network deeply fragmented along political lines, including the personal networks of journalists that reported on the election. (Learn more)

Featured

Can Technology Help Humans Listen?

The impact of social media—both positive and negative—demonstrates the great power of the underlying technologies. Technologists can design communication systems that foster and scale age-old practices of constructive dialogue and deep listening. We can design smart tools that provide scaffolding so that anyone can easily learn to facilitate a conversation. Stunning advances in machine learning and natural language processing can be marshaled to create scalable forms of deep listening. The creative explosion in media formats ushered in by modern social media platforms—often shaped by our youth—can be leveraged to share the stories of others across divides.

09.02.2022 | MIT Alumni

Recent Projects

Real Talk for Change

A revolutionary new piece of civic infrastructure for more inclusive public input.

Prototype Workshop

Clover

A new type of social platform for young people that is explicitly designed to promote healthier outcomes.

Prototype Workshop

Pollster

Probing neural language models of media consumption to predict public opinion

Research Lab

Recent Media

Obama praises CCC’s “great work” in “making online conversations more civil and productive”

"We need to figure out how to give [ourselves] a chance to build up civic muscles,” said Barack Obama in his April 2022 speech on disinformation, mentioning the “grea...

Self-Published | 04.21.2022

The Internet Needs You-Are-Here Maps

We spend so much of our time online without knowing where we are—or how fragmented we've become. Locating ourselves can help us leave our bubble. ...

Wired | 06.08.2022

Some Bostonians feel largely unheard. With MIT’s ‘Real Talk’ portal now public, here’s a chance to really listen

In a community dialogue in East Boston this summer, a man named Alejandro inquired about whether the city’s high schools would receive the funding they need to thrive. ...

Boston Globe | 10.25.2021