Mary Blankenship

Graduate Student Researcher, Brookings Mountain West
Master's Student, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Expertise: Twitter misinformation and disinformation, Combating propaganda online and on social media, National and international public policy, Renewable and solar energy, Environmental policy


Social scientist and chemist Mary Blankenship is a Brookings Mountain West graduate student researcher who studies misinformation and disinformation on the internet and social media, as well as public policy and research lab solutions surrounding renewable and solar energy, climate change, and the environment.

Blankenship graduated in 2021 as an Honors College student with dual bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and economics, and a minor in Brookings public policy. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in chemistry while continuing her research with Brookings Mountain West.

The Ukraine native's most recent research focuses on analyzing over 60 million tweets pertaining to the discussion of the Ukrainian invasion, the reasons behind the creation of online propaganda related to the Russian attack, and tips to combat it.

Her published research on Twitter misinformation and the summer 2020 racial reckoning following the police killing of George Floyd made international headlines in outlets including the Las Vegas Sun, The Toronto Star, and Global News Canada. Blankenship has also examined Nigeria's Twitter ban, as well as online reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, school shootings, and other mass gun violence. In 2020, she completed an internship with the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution, working on issues related to energy, environment, elections, and COVID-19 misinformation on the continent.

Mary Blankenship In The News

Global News
The Canadian government is “assessing next steps” in deciding whether it will pay to keep its Twitter accounts verified, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed on Monday.
Las Vegas Sun
Observers are expressing increasing alarm over links between Jim Marchant, the Republican Nevada secretary of state candidate, and the radical conspiracy group QAnon, which calls for political violence in America as it circulates wild claims about the nation.
Unlike broader Russian narratives that exploit existing grievances of African audiences, most disinformation does not gain the same traction or attention on Twitter.
Center for European Policy Analysis
The US, not Russia, was responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline explosion - this claim spread fast online, an analysis of 500,000 tweets shows.

Articles Featuring Mary Blankenship

a female student sits in the grass by a tree reading a book
Campus News | September 1, 2022

A roundup of prominent news stories highlighting university pride, research, and community collaboration.

Remember sculptor Claes Oldenburg who created UNLV's iconic Flashlight sculpture this month.
Campus News | August 3, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting university experts’ insights on and contributions to health, environment, and society.

UNLV Football players entering Allegiant Stadium
Campus News | May 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.