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

Las Vegas Sun
Is there any information online that I can trust? After sifting through AI images, deepfakes, bots, trolls, ads and disinformation campaigns while just trying to casually peruse social media, I often think there isn’t.   
It's been six months since the Nord Stream gas pipelines were ruptured by a series of explosions, leaking tons of methane into the environment and igniting an international whodunit. Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and an unnamed pro-Ukrainian group have all been accused of planting explosives on the Baltic Sea pipelines in recent months. But half a year since the sabotage took place, the mystery remains unsolved.
The Ukrainian Review
The initiative on the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs from Ukrainian ports was signed on 27 July 2022. This agreement is supposed to decrease the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war on developing the world food crisis. “The Ukrainian Review” has checked three widespread Russian fakes about this deal.
Tallahassee Democrat
When I read the sign posted at the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway off Baum Road, I wondered about its wording. It was direct and clear. What I wondered about was the psychology behind the words. How do you communicate a concern about arsonists and their activity that does not embolden them, but encourages them to reconsider?

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 U.N.L.V.'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.

U.N.L.V. Football players entering Allegiant Stadium
Campus News | May 2, 2022

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