Youth Mental Health Summit, June 2023

Kara spoke on the keynote panel on kids & social media at New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Youth Mental Health Summit, June 2023

Kara's speaking engagement at Politics & Prose

Kara spoke about her book “Over the Influence,” at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC with Everyday Health’s Dr. Patrice Harris, former president of the American Medical Association

Kara Alaimo spoke at the World Economic Forum about her book “Over the Influence,” March 2024

Kara at Tattered Cover Book Store
Courtesy of Tattered Cover Book Store

Kara Alaimo, PhD is author of Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back. She is an Associate Professor of Communication at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She writes about the social impact of social media and issues affecting women for CNN Opinion and other outlets. She is also a former communicator at the United Nations and in the Obama administration. Her work has been published by media outlets including The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe AtlanticThe Los Angeles Times, Harvard Business ReviewCNNBloombergAl JazeeraFortuneColumbia Journalism Review, and The Hill, and in numerous academic journals. Her first book focused on how to adapt communication strategies for different countries and cultures. Follow her on Facebook, X and Instagram.

About Kara

Kara Alaimo, PhD is author of the book Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls — And How We Can Take It Back. She is a communication professor at Fairleigh Dickinson, where she created the university’s programs in social media, and has been writing for CNN Opinion about the social impact of social media and issues affecting women and girls since 2016.

From 2012-2013, she served as Head of Communications for the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, a group of heads of state and other eminent thinkers convened to recommend the world’s next plan for eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development. In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama as Spokesperson for International Affairs in the U.S. Treasury Department, where she communicated global economic diplomacy initiatives, including America’s bilateral economic relationships; engagement in multilateral institutions including the G-20, World Bank, and IMF; and international monetary, trade, development, environmental, and energy policy. In this capacity, she also served as media adviser to Jim Yong Kim during his successful 2012 campaign for the World Bank Presidency.

She also previously served as the first Press Secretary of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Global Media Coordinator for the United Nations Millennium Campaign, and as a spokesperson for New York City economic development initiatives during the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

She earned her Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, and Masters of Arts degrees at the City University of New York, and her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Women’s Studies at N.Y.U.

Kara also wrote Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication, a textbook in use at universities around the world that explains how to adapt communication strategies for different countries and cultures. Her academic research on social media and international and political/advocacy communication has been published in academic journals including the International Journal of Communication, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Affairs, Case Studies in Strategic Communication, and Social Media & Society.


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Kara Alaimo

Over the Influence

In Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back, communication professor and CNN Opinion contributor Kara Alaimo demonstrates how social media affects every aspect of the lives of women, girls and nonbinary people —from our relationships and our parenting to our physical and mental wellbeing.

Over the Influence is a book about what it means to live in the world social media has wrought – whether you’re constantly connected or have deleted your accounts forever. Alaimo shows why you’re likely to get fewer followers if you’re a woman. She demonstrates how fake news is crafted to prey on women’s vulnerabilities. She reveals why so much of the content we find in our feeds is specifically designed to hold us back. And she explains how social media has made the offline world a far uglier place for women. But we can change this and reclaim the Internet to empower ourselves. Alaimo offers up brilliant advice for how to get over the influence—how to handle our daughters’ use of social media, use dating apps to find who we’re looking for, use social networks to bolster our careers, and protect ourselves from sextortionists, catfishers and trolls. She also explains what we need to demand from lawmakers and tech companies in order to solve these problems.

Over the Influence calls on women to recognize and call out the subtle (and not-so-subtle) sexism and misogyny we find online, reject misinformation that is targeted to us because of our gender, and use our social platforms to empower ourselves and other women. It was published on March 5, 2024.

Praise for Over the Influence:
“A clarion call for thoughtfulness and action on a vital issue facing girls and women, Kara Alaimo’s Over the Influence is a captivating must-read for anyone who cares about misogyny, the internet, and the confluence between them. It is also indispensable, impeccably researched, and eye-opening reading for any parent navigating social media with their children—which is to say, all of us.”
—Kate Manne, author of Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women and Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

“Social media promised us a better, more connected, more empathetic world. Instead, it’s brought insecurity, humiliation, sexualization, and sometimes even violence—at least to women and girls. That’s the case Kara Alaimo makes in her important book, which everyone who has ever downloaded a social media app, or who cares about the future of society, should read.”
—Jill Filipovic, author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness

Over the Influence is the ultimate guide for any mom seeking to help her daughters—and herself—more safely navigate an internet that is stacked against women. I’ll be recommending it to all the parents in my life.”
—Nina Jankowicz, author of How to Be a Woman Online: Surviving Abuse and Harassment, and How to Fight Back

“As I read the stories of the women in Over The Influence, I found myself nodding along because I’ve been there, while taking notes on how I can set new boundaries and protect my privacy—and the privacy of young girls in my life—to ensure we’re all protected and live our fullest lives on the internet. An essential guide for anyone who uses the internet and cares about other people—so, everyone!”
— Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and co-executive director of We Testify

“Over the Influence both showcases the dangerous realities and consequences of the modern cyber world and also silverlines it with what a humane social media culture could look like. Kara Alaimo keeps it real— journalistically showing us the innards of real online experiences by real girls and women… Over the Influence is a protest against today’s online reality and a call to arms for what tomorrow’s ought to look like. It’s a book for everybody with an internet connection.”
— Carrie Goldberg, leading victims’ rights attorney and author of Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls

“Over the Influence by Kara Alaimo is a powerful and timely exploration of the pervasive toxicity of social media, offering important insights into its impact on relationships, well-being, and body image. This book serves as a rallying cry to empower and guide women towards reclaiming the Internet and advocating for a dramatic and overdue change in the digital landscape.”
-Rana Awdish, MD, author of the bestselling In Shock, My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope

“A trove of insight into how social-media has dialed up the vitriol belittling girls’ looks and behavior and eroded their sense of safety while siphoning off energy women would rather spend pursuing their real potential. Every parent: read this book to know what you’re up against. Grab copies for your daughters and friends. Together, armed with Kara’s powerful reporting, we can reverse today’s digital backlash against women and create a narrative that serves us.”
– Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of Girls on the Brink

“A searing indictment of the capitalist, racist, and misogynistic overtones of social media, Alaimo’s book calls on us to demand more from these platforms and to create new norms for ourselves and generations to come in relation to building and sustaining community and creating change — online and off.”
-Senti Sojwal, cofounder of the Asian American Feminist Collective

Buy the Book

Click here to order the Penguin Random House audio book from

To pre-order an autographed copy of the book from Labyrinth Books in Princeton, NJ, email


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Dear President Trump: To Be Heard More, Tweet Less
Bloomberg, December 9, 2016

Exxon’s Failing PR Strategy
Bloomberg, December 6, 2016

We Need to Resist Censorship of Cyberspace
Al Jazeera, December 3, 2016

This is Steven Mnuchin’s Biggest Shortcoming as Treasury Secretary
Fortune, December 1, 2016

Here’s an Idea for Trump: Hire the Most Competent People
Bloomberg, November 17, 2016

Where Donald Trump Got His Real Power
CNN, November 15, 2016

To Win, Clinton and Trump Must Offer Radically Different View of the Economy in Monday’s Debate
The Huffington Post, September 22, 2016

Five of the Coolest PR Strategies from Around the World
The Huffington Post, August 23, 2016

Five Questions to Ask Before Doing Business in a New Global Market
The Economic Times (India), August 22, 2016

When “Yes” Means “Not a Chance”
The New York Times, July 31, 2016
(also published in the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review)

Are Republicans Better than Democrats at Spinning the Press?
The Huffington Post, May 11, 2016

Why Twitter is Trump’s Most Powerful Weapon
The Huffington Post, February 5, 2016

The Decline of the Bully Pulpit
The Atlantic, January 10, 2016

Speaking Engagements

Kara was interviewed by Madison Malone Kircher of The New York Times about her book “Over the Influence”

Book Launch Events for Over the Influence

GPS Parent Series
November 14, 2024 at 1pm EDT and again at 8pm EDT

Thunder Road Books in Spring Lake, NJ
July 20, 2024 at 11:00am

Women Lead Festival
June 13, 2024, 11:55am

LOOK Literary, organized by Fairfield County LOOK
June 12, 2024

Books and Books in Coral Gables, Florida
April 29, 2024 at 6:30pm

Hofstra University
Guthart Cultural Center Theatre, April 18, 2024, 1pm, free and open to the public

CUNY Graduate Center — in conversation with Madison Malone Kircher of the NY Times Styles section
April 17, 2024 at 6:30pm

Virginia Highland Books in Atlanta
April 14, 2024, 5:15pm

MEO Jobs Virtual Networking Event
April 5, 2024, 7:00pm EDT

Conversation with Roxane Gay at YWCA Princeton
April 4, 2024, 7:00pm

Yale University
April 2, 2024, 11:30am, free but RSVPs requested

University of Pennsylvania’s Center on Digital Culture and Society
March 25, 2024, 12:15 pm, free but RSVPs requested

Princeton Public Library (with books sold by Labyrinth) — in conversation with my CNN Opinion editor, Jane Carr
March 21, 2024, 6:00 pm, free and open to public, no preregistration required

Family Action Network — in conversation with my book’s editor, Laura Apperson
March 20, 2024, 8pm EDT, first hour is free on Zoom; second “After Hours” session available to people who purchase the book through The Book Stall in Chicago

Online Event as part of the NGO Commission on the Status of Women Forum
March 20, 12:30pm EDT; free

Fairleigh Dickinson University-in person at The Orangerie on the Florham campus and online
March 19, 2024, 5:00pm

Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC
March 12, 2024, 6:00pm

Politics & Prose in Washington, DC
March 11, 2024, 7:00pm, free with first come, first served seating

The Tattered Cover in Denver
March 9, 2024, 5:00pm

The Strand Bookstore NYC — in conversation with Kate Manne
March 7, 2024, 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:30pm. Ticketed event.

NYU Women’s Leadership Presidential Forum
March 7, 2024, 12:00pm

92 Street Y– Online event– in conversation with Kate Manne
March 6, 2024, 7:00 pm. Ticketed event.

Terez on NYC’s Upper East Side– Social Media & Moms
March 5, 2024, 5:30pm. Ticketed event.

Professional Speaking Engagements

Keynote Session, “The State of our Youth: Growing Up in the Social Media Era” 
New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s Youth Mental Health Summit, June 15, 2023

Diversity & Inclusion in PR
Public Relations Professionals of Long Island Virtual Event, March 22, 2022, 12:00pm EDT

The Contemporary Global Scenario: The Role of Communication in Combatting Misinformation
International Public Relations Web Global Congress, November 30, 2021, 9:00am EDT

Reading the Room: Crafting and Communicating Intelligence
Association of International Risk Intelligence Professionals Webinar, November 10, 2021, 1:00pm EDT

International Communication After Corona
European Public Relations Education and Research Association Webinar, October 26, 2020, 1:30pm EDT

Global Webinar on Civility and Communication
Institute for International Communication and University of Vienna, October 16, 2020, 9:00am EDT

Covid-19 and its Nexus with Public Relations Around the World
International Public Relations Research Symposium (BledCom), July 3, 2020

Key Principles of Crisis and Reputation Management
Virtual PR Summit, May 2020

Social Media in the Era of Fake News
Molloy Institute for Lifelong Learning, Rockville Centre, NY, May 24, 2019

Communicating with Constituencies from Different Countries and Cultures (Keynote speech)
New York School Public Relations Association Conference, Saratoga Springs, New York, March 18, 2018

Going Global: How to Adapt Communication Strategies for Different Countries and Cultures
Africa Communications Week Webinar, February 6, 2018

Going Global: How to Adapt PR Strategies for Different Countries and Cultures
Public Relations Society of America International Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, October 8, 2017, 2:45pm

Women Influence Conference
Ritz Paris, September 21, 2017, 4:50pm

Going Global: How to Adapt Your Communication Strategies for Different Countries and Cultures
International Association of Business Communicators World Conference, Washington, DC, June 14, 2017, 10:15am

Navigating Cultures in Communication: A Master Class with Kara Alaimo, Ph.D.
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) New York, June 1, 2017, 6:00pm

How Businesses Should Prepare for the Post 2016 Election Era (Keynote speech)
Public Relations Society of America Southeast District Conference, Birmingham, Alabama, April 21, 2017, 11:00am

Global Communication Strategies
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Long Island, Plainview, New York, April 12, 2017, 8:00am

Talking to the World About Africa
Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group, New York, March 28, 2017

Trump vs. Clinton’s Social Media Campaigns: Insider’s View
World Communication Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, March 14, 2017, 3:00-3:30pm

Global Communication vs. Cross-cultural Communication
World Communication Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, March 14, 2017, 12:00-12:45pm

The Role of Social Media and Other New Technology in the 2016 Presidential Election
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Western District Conference, Riverside, California, March 3, 2017, 3:00pm

The Role of Social Media and Other New Technology in the 2016 Presidential Election- And How Businesses Should Respond
Social Media Association, February 23, 2017, 8:30am

Understanding Global PR
Grand Valley State University’s Advertising and Public Relations Speaker Series, Allendale, Michigan, February 13, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm

The Role of Social Media and Other New Technology in the 2016 Election
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 13, 2017, 10:30am

Crisis Communication for Businesses in the “Post-Truth Era”
Institute for International Communication, St. John’s University, New York, February 7, 2017, 7:00pm

Communicating Across Cultures
Molloy Institute for Lifelong Learning, Hempstead, NY, January 17, 2017, 1:30-2:30pm

Going Global: How to Adapt Your Communication Strategies for Different Countries and Cultures
Columbia University, November 17, 2016, 7:00-9:00pm

Local Author Showcase 2016
Rockville Centre Public Library, November 13, 2016

Communicating Globally: A Master Class With Kara Alaimo, Ph.D.
International Association of Business Communicators New York Chapter, November 1, 2016, 8:30am-10:30am

Google Hangout with Todo Mundo RP (association of Brazilian public relations professionals)
October 25, 2016, 6:00pm

Going Global: Adapting PR Strategies for Different Countries and Cultures (Keynote speech)
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2016 Tri-State Conference, NYC, October 18, 2016

MEOjobs NYC Media Industry Happy Hour & Book Release
House of Brews in NYC, October 17, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm

Public Relations Professionals of Long Island Dinner
Four Points at Sheraton, Plainview NY, October 4, 2016, 6:00 pm

Book Talk: “Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication”
Rockville Centre Public Library, September 24, 2016, 1:00pm

What Issues Will Decide the 2016 Presidential Election? A Discussion with Eugene Robinson and Stephen Hayes
Hofstra University, September 22, 2016

“Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication”
Corporate Communication International, September 19, 2016, 6:30-8:00pm

Adapting Government Communications to Work Across Cultures
Webinar for the National Association of Government Communicators, August 17, 2016

Must Read panel
World Communication Forum in Davos, Switzerland, March 8, 2016

Shaping the Global Media Agenda
World Communication Forum in Davos, Switzerland, March 10, 2015

An Intimate Conversation With Kara Alaimo: Tips for Success in Global PR
Black Public Relations Society of New York, New York City, October 14, 2014

Academic Conference Presentations

“Media Coverage of the Obama Presidency – Challenges and Opportunities” (Plenary Forum)
The Barack Obama Presidency Conference: Hope and Change
 Hofstra University, April 19, 2023     

Speeches by U.S. Governors Reveal that Women’s Greater Legislative Success is Correlated with More Communal Approaches to Communication
New Jersey Communication Association Conference
Union, New Jersey, April 1, 2023

Tweets of Women Governors Reveal Why They May Be More Effective Leaders
Seton Hall Conference on Women and Gender
South Orange, New Jersey, March 31, 2023

“Analyzing the Communication Strategies of the Hacker Network Anonymous”
International Communication Association Pre-conference “Embracing the Network Paradigm: New Directions in Strategic Communication Research”
Prague, Czech Republic, May 24, 2018

“Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility Across Cultures”
International Public Relations Research Symposium (“BledCom”)
Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 30, 2017

“Developing and Teaching Courses in International Communication”
Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 6, 2016

“Increased Efforts by Modern States to Improve their Reputations for Enforcing Women’s Human Rights”
Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System
New York City, June 18, 2016

“How the Facebook Arabic Page ‘We Are All Khaled Said’ Helped Foment the Egyptian Revolution”
National Communication Association Annual Convention
Las Vegas, Nevada, November 20, 2015

“Press Relations in President George W. Bush’s Treasury”
The George W. Bush Presidency Conference
Hempstead, New York, March 26, 2015

“What New Developments In Cognitive Science Teach Public
Relations Professionals About How to Persuade”
National Communication Association Annual Convention
Chicago, Illinois, November 20, 2014

”Who Leaks Unauthorized Information to the Press in Washington?”
Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Montreal, Canada, August 8, 2014

“Words More Powerful than Weapons in Modern Global Governance”
Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System
Istanbul, Turkey, June 21, 2014

“How the United Nations Should Communicate the World’s Next Development Agenda”
Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System
Istanbul, Turkey, June 20, 2014

“Measuring the Loyalty of the People Behind the Presidential Bully Pulpit”
New England Political Science Association Annual Conference
Woodstock, Vermont, April 26, 2014

“Using Persuasive Processes To Achieve Increased Global Human Rights Compliance”
New England Political Science Association Annual Conference
Woodstock, Vermont, April 26, 2014

“Measuring the Efficacy of the People Behind the Presidential Bully Pulpit”
New York State Political Science Association Annual Conference
New York City, April 25, 2014

Media Coverage

Photo: Laura Fuchs

Interview on Proposed Legislation to Criminalize Nude Deepfakes
NJ Spotlight News, May 20, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
A Few Things With Jim Barrood Podcast, May 20, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
Vibrant Happy Women Podcast, May 2, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
Marketing, Mindfulness and Martinis Podcast, April 27, 2024

New Jersey Monthly Magazine, May 2024 issue

Anonymous Users Are Dominating Right-Wing Discussions Online. They Also Spread False Information.
Associated Press, April 6, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
Simple Families Podcast, March 29, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
The Second Shift Podcast, March 20, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
The Gaslight Effect Podcast, March 12, 2024

Hate and Violence Toward Girls and Women in the Digital World
Psychology Today, March 11, 2024

Bonus Episode: Excerpt from my book “Over the Influence”
Authentic Parenting Podcast, March 11, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
The Feed with Amber Mac and Michael B on Sirius XM, March 9, 2024

Filtered: How Social Media Impacts our Body Image Even When We Know Better
Mama Beasts, March 8, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
Authentic Parenting Podcast, March 7, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
Under the Influence Podcast, March 5, 2024

Excerpt of “Over the Influence”
Business Insider, March 5, 2024

Q&A About “Over the Influence”
Babe by Hatch, March 5, 2024

Interview About “Over the Influence”
Fair Media Council’s Fast Chat Podcast, March 5, 2024

Interview on “Over the Influence”
Community & Technology, March 5, 2024

This International Women’s Day, Here’s How to Protect & Empower Yourself on Social Media
Channel Kindness, March 5, 2024

The Privilege of Being a Celebrity Man When Your Nudes Leak
POPSUGAR, February 8, 2024

Review of “Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back”
Booklist, February 1, 2024

Can Anonymous Facebook Posts Save the Moms?
Mama Beasts, January 5, 2024

Mama Beasts December “Musts” Column
November 30, 2023

Social Media, Society, & Schools (Discussion of my forthcoming book Over the Influence)
FDU EdCast Podcast, October 31, 2023

Interview on How to Handle Social Media Use of Kids During the War in Israel & Gaza
Fox 5 News, October 11, 2023

Interview on the Increased Influencer Content We’re Seeing on Social Media
Good Day New York, September 8, 2023

NJ Plan to Study Social Media Impact on Teens Too Slow to Address Crisis, Advocates Say, August 3, 2023

Want to be a Social Media Whiz? Fairleigh Dickinson Has a New Program for You, July 18, 2023

Interview on Utah’s New Social Media Laws
The Mitch Album Show, March 29, 2023

How Long Island’s Comics, Club Owners Now Handle Harrassment from the Audience
Newsday, July 7, 2022

Concerns Mount Over Accuracy of Online Abortion Information, Privacy of Searches
UPI, July 1, 2022

Interview on “Banfield” on NewsNation About Mark Zuckerberg
June 30, 2022

Interview with Yasmin Vossoughian on Elon Musk’s Offer to Buy Twitter
MSNBC, April 17, 2022

Interview with Yasmin Vossoughian on Elon Musk’s Decision Not to Join Twitter’s Board
NBC News NOW, April 8, 2022

What It’s Really Like to Make More Money Than Your Husband
Fortune, April 7, 2022

She Was a Candidate to Lead Levi’s. Then She Started Tweeting.
The New York Times, March 25, 2022

LI Experts Hail Hochul’s Efforts to Counteract Vax Misinformation
Newsday, October 28, 2021

Facebook Needs to Change Its CEO, Not Its Name: The Public Has Lost Trust in the Network and the Only Way to Regain it is for Zuckerberg to Stand Down, Professor of Communications Says
Daily Mail, October 23, 2021

Interview with Christi Paul on Facebook’s Reported Name Change
CNN’s NEW DAY, October 23, 2021, 7:25am

Interview on Gains Moms Should Refuse to Give Back After the Pandemic
Bloomberg Radio, May 14, 2021

Amazon Quickly Tweaks Logo Some Say Resembled Hitler’s Mustache
The New York Times, March 3, 2021

Interview on PepsiCo Changing the Name of Aunt Jemima
News 12 Long Island, February 10, 2021, 5:00pm news

Interview on the Social Networks Replacing Parler
Fox 5 New York, January 13, 2021, 10:00pm news

Interview on the Responsibility Social Networks Bear for the Attacks on the Capitol
Fox 5 New York, January 7, 2021, 5:00pm news

Interview on the Effects of the Pandemic on Moms
NBC New York, January 5, 2021, 5:00pm news

Interview on Biden’s all-female communications team
Spring TV in Zambia, December 4, 2020 at 12:30am EDT

Interview on the U.S. Presidential Election and the Role of Social Media
BBC Radio 5 Live, November 6, 2020, 1:45pm EDT

Interview on the U.S. Presidential Election and the Role of Social Media
Spring TV in Zambia, November 5, 2020, 11:30am EDT

Interview on Efforts to Combat Election-Related Social Media Misinformation
Fox 5 New York, November 3, 2020, 5:00pm hour

Advertisers Are Fleeing Tucker Carlson. Fox News Viewers Have Stayed.
The New York Times, June 18, 2020

Interview on How Businesses Should Respond to the #BlackLivesMatter Protests
Wharton Business Daily on SiriusXM Channel 132, June 5, 2020, 10:15am EDT

Interview on How Businesses Should Respond to the #BlackLivesMatter Protests
Bloomberg Radio’s Daybreak Asia, June 2, 2020

Interview on the Optics of President Trump’s Decision to Kill Iraninan Gen. Suleimani
BBC Radio 5 Live, January 6, 2020, 12:39pm EDT

Interview on the Media’s Treatment of Meghan Markle
BBC Radio 5 Live, October 21, 2019, 1:35pm EDT

What It Would Look Like If Tabloids Wrote About Men The Way They Write About Women
Huffington Post, August 29, 2019

Interview on the “Second Shift” Some Women Put in at Work
Bloomberg Radio, May 17, 2019

In Woody Allen-Amazon Lawsuit, An Explosive Hollywood Question: What Happens When Old Allegations Meet New Attitudes?
The Washington Post, February 8, 2019

Trump’s Twitter Insult About “Team of Vipers” Might Be Helping Cliff Sims Sell Books
CNN, January 29, 2019

Interview on the Worst Corporate PR Decisions of 2018
Bloomberg Radio, December 28, 2018

Advertisers Flee Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Show After He Derides Immigrants
The New York Times, December 19, 2018

Interview on How the #MeToo Movement Started
Bloomberg Radio, October 1, 2018

Las Denuncias Contra Asia Argento Interrogan al Movimiento #MeToo
AFP, August 22, 2018

From Papa John’s to Uber: When CEO Scandals Go Viral
CNBC, July 18, 2018

Will Uber’s CEO Still Be Able to Save the Brand’s Image?
CNN, July 14, 2018

AT&T Wants to Fast Forward Into The Streaming Future After Completing Time Warner Merger
Dallas Morning News, June 16, 2018

Disney Made Quick Work of “Roseanne.” It’s Not Always So Easy.
The New York Times, May 30, 2018

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, May 10, 2018

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, April 12, 2018

Interview on Social Activism by Students
Bloomberg Radio, April 3, 2018

Finding the Right Corporate Message Isn’t Always Easy
The New York Times, March 30, 2018

Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook Business Chief Leans Out of Spotlight in Scandal
The Guardian, March 29, 2018

Team USA’s “Take Charge” Women Represent a Bigger Movement, Experts Say
NBC, March 3, 2018

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, February 26, 2018

Interviewing on Public Shaming on the Internet
Bloomberg Radio, December 13, 2017

Advertisers Delete Tweets Around Calls to Boycott Sean Hannity
The New York Times, November 14, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel Makes Brooklyn Return as More People Tune in His Talk on Trump and Politics
Variety, October 15, 2017

Why Everything and Everyone in Harvey Weinstein’s Orbit is at Risk of Being Burned in the Sex Harassment Fallout
CNBC, October 15, 2017

Twitter’s 280-character Experiment Could Boost Its Business
Newsday, September 28, 2017

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, September 14, 2017

Ally McBeal First Courted Controversy 20 Years Ago: Short Skirts, Skinny-Shaming and Nonstop Judgment
E!, September 8, 2017

Interview on Why Publicly Berating Your Employees Is a Bad Idea
Bloomberg Radio, August 21, 2017

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, August 9, 2017

The Daily 202: Self-Destructive Trump Proves Again That He is His Own Worst Enemy
The Washington Post, June 30, 2017

Trump’s Crude Tweets: Would Anyone Else Be Fired?
Associated Press, June 29, 2017

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, June 15, 2017

Brands, Afraid to Offend, Weigh in on Theatre and News Content
The New York Times, June 14, 2017

50 Game-Changers of PR
PR News, June 6, 2017

As Anger at O’Reilly Builds, Activists Use Social Media to Prod Advertisers
The New York Times, April 7, 2017

Two Indian Startups Bag the Communication for Future Awards 2017
The Economic Times (India), March 28, 2017

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, March 23, 2017

Apple Wiped Mention of (Product) RED and HIV/AIDS From Its Chinese Online Store
Mashable, March 22, 2017

Put Some Respect on Amal Clooney’s Name
The Daily Beast, March 20, 2017

The Weekend Reader: Three Must-Reads
Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2017

Interview on How Corporations Should Prepare for and Respond to Fake News
Bloomberg TV Bulgaria, February 18, 2017

Author to Speak at GVSU, Museum About the Power of Trump’s Tweets
M Live, February 10, 2017

Interview with NPR affiliate WGVU Public Media in Michigan
February 7, 2017

Companies Need to Adjust Communications for Globalized World, Author Says
Michigan Business, February 5, 2017

El nuevo terror de los CEO: “¡Socorro, Donald Trump tuiteó contra mi empresa!”
Infobae (Argentina), January 29, 2017

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, January 19, 2017

Professor: Censored Facebook Can Destabilize China
New York Post, December 29, 2016

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, December 5, 2016

Interview on the 2016 Presidential Election
Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV, November 7, 2016

Interview on “Business Matters”
BBC World Service, October 27, 2016

Interview on “Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street”
Hilary Topper on Air, October 6, 2016

Clinton, Satisfecha; Trump Alega Maltrato
El Universal, September 28, 2016

Interview on “Business Matters” on First US Presidential Debate of 2016
BBC World Service, September 26, 2016

Doing Business in a New Market
1010 WINS, August 29, 2016

Going Global Means Thinking Local
The Long Island Herald, August 24, 2016

Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: New Book Explains How to Adapt PR Strategies for Different Global Markets
Bulldog Reporter, August 23, 2016

Did Melania Trump’s RNC Speech Help or Hurt Her Family’s Reputation?
Fios1 News, July 19, 2016

On the spot: Tips on tipping, and how to decide the currency
The Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2016

Feminists to Follow

In Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back, I write about the way we have to radically change who we follow, what we share, and what we reward with our attention on social media in order to empower ourselves and other women. Here’s a list of just a few great feminists to follow to get you started.

For women who had their own websites when I compiled this list, I’m linking to their sites so you can follow their latest social handles, podcasts and newsletters. When they didn’t, I linked to some of their social channels.

• Kara Alaimo (me). I write about issues affecting women and the social impact of social media. Find me on Facebook, X and Instagram.

• Sima Bahous is the head of UN Women, which works to empower women and promote gender equality around the world. Here she is on X. Also follow UN Women.

Tarana Burke is founder of the #MeToo movement.

Soraya Chemaly is a feminist whose book Rage Becomes Her explores our society’s unfair expectations for how women express anger.

• Brittney Cooper is a Black feminist intellectual. Here she is on X, Instagram and Facebook.

• Kimberlé Crenshaw is a professor renowned for her work on feminism and race. Here she is on X and Instagram.

Patrisse Cullors is co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Mona Eltahawy writes about issues affecting Arab and Muslim women and global feminism.

Jill Filipovic is an American writer and lawyer who frequently focuses on issues affecting women.

Deborah Frances-White hosts of one of my favorite podcasts, The Guilty Feminist.

Alicia Garza is co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Roxane Gay is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times who writes about feminism & many other topics.

Aubrey Gordon fights bias against fat people.

Amanda Gorman is an American poet, famous for the poem she delivered at the inauguration of Joe Biden.

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a professor, New York Times reporter and creator of the 1619 Project who focuses on racial injustice and the history and effects of slavery in America.

Nina Jankowicz is a disinformation expert and author of How to Be a Woman Online: Surviving Abuse and Harassment, and How to Fight Back.

Mikki Kendall writes about race and feminism.

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., advocates for nonviolent social change and civil rights.

Naomi Klein is an expert on climate justice and corporate misdeeds.

Kate Manne is a professor who writes about feminism and philosophy.

Amanda Montei is a feminist who writes about motherhood, language and more.

• Ifeoma Ozoma is an advocate for gender and racial equity in tech jobs. Here she is on X and Instagram.

Zoë Quinn is an advocate for victims of online violence.

Loretta Ross is a feminist and human rights activist who preaches calling people “in” for difficult conversations.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner is co-founder and CEO of Mom’s Rising, an important, powerful organization advocating for America’s moms.

Julia Serano writes about issues faced by trans women.

Linda Sarsour is a Muslim feminist activist and co-chair of the Women’s March.

Senti Sojwal is co-founder of the Asian-American Feminist Collective.

Renee Bracey Sherman is a reproductive justice activist.

Rebecca Solnit writes about feminism, history, social change, and more.

• Greta Thunberg is a climate activist. Here she is on Insta, Facebook and X.

Rebecca Traister is a New York Magazine writer who often writes about issues affecting women.

Jessica Valenti writes about feminism.

Holly Whitaker focuses on how alcohol and alcoholism affect women. 

Malala Yousafzai, who was famously shot in the head for advocating for girls’ education in Pakistan, advocates for girls’ education and gender equality globally.

Andi Zeisler is co-founder of Bitch Media.

Content Creators With Credentials

In Over the Influence, I also write about why social media shouldn’t be your source of medical information. But if you’re looking for credible experts who share info on pregnancy & parenting sans sanctimony, here’s who I suggest you follow:

Kimberly Seals Allers is an advocate for moms of color. She talks about everything from how to reduce Black women’s higher rates of maternal deaths to contending with racism at summer camp.

Jennifer Anderson is a registered dietitian who shares advice on handling picky eaters.

Big Little Feelings is a series of accounts by a child therapist and mom focused on how to negotiate with toddlers.

The Child Mind Institute is a non-profit that provides support and information for parents of children with learning and mental health disorders.

Shannon Clark, MD is an OB-GYN, maternal fetal medicine physician, and professor who shares information about reproductive health and becoming a mom after age 35.

Kelly Fradin, MD is a pediatrician who shares “evidence-based parenting and health tips.”

Jen Gunter, MD is an OB-GYN who posts about vaccines and reproductive health.

Free N. Hess, MD is a pediatrician, pediatric emergency medicine physician, and expert on child safety.

Katelyn Jetelina is a public health expert who calls herself “Your Local Epidemiologist.”

Danielle Jones, MD is an OB-GYN who shares information on reproductive health.

Becky Kennedy, PhD is a clinical psychologist who offers advice on managing the feelings of kids and their parents.

Wendy Goodall McDonald, MD is an OB-GYN who shares information “for humans with vaginas.”

Emily Oster, PhD is an economist who shares what data tells us about pregnancy and parenting

Marta Perez, MD is an OB-GYN and researcher who shares information on reproductive health.

Krupa Playforth, MD, a.k.a. “The Pediatrician Mom,” shares helpful medical knowledge.

Ashley Saucier, MD is a pediatric emergency medicine physician and mom who shares information about child illnesses and mental and behavioral health.

Amy Tuteur, MD, who you hear a lot from in my book, is an obstetrician who talks about the importance of medical care during childbirth and avoiding the sanctimommies.

Academic Research

Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street

pitch, tweet, or engage on the street cover image

Kara Alaimo’s texbook about global communication, Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street, offers a modern guide for how to practice public relations and strategic communication around the globe. Drawing upon interviews with public relations professionals in over 30 countries as well as the author’s own experience as a global public relations practitioner in the United Nations and in U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, this book explains how to adapt public relations strategies, messages, and tactics for countries and cultures around the globe. The book begins by explaining key cultural differences which require practitioners to adapt their approaches, before discussing how to build and manage a global public relations team and how to practice global public relations on behalf of corporations, non-profit organizations, and governments. Then, the book takes readers on a tour of the world, explaining how to adapt their campaigns for Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Along the way, readers are introduced to practitioners around the globe and case studies of particularly successful campaigns – from a public relations “siege” that successfully ended an epidemic of violence in Kenya to the remarkable P.R. strategy adoted by Bordeaux wineries in China that led to a staggering 26,900 percent increase in sales.

The second edition of Kara Alaimo’s book on global public relations was published by Routledge in December 2020. Use the promo code HSM20 for 20% off the book on Routledge’s website.

Buy the Book

Companion Website to the Book (Professors: Request a token to access the instructor section of the website, which offers a free guide for developing and teaching courses in international communication/PR, with a sample syllabus and lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations for every class session).

What People Are Saying About the Book

“The breadth and depth of this book are amazing. Kara Alaimo combines her extensive international experience with a thorough review of relevant academic literature. The book combines theory and practice; applies to corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies; provides lessons from every continent; and always makes culture and ethics central to the discussion.”
James E. Grunig, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland

“You need to read this book if your business plan involves growth across international markets. Today, business success in local or regional markets is increasingly dependent on communications that can scale globally while understanding the importance of cultural nuances. Kara Alaimo has finally cracked the code for how to manage multi-national communications campaigns that drive real business results.”
Rowan Benecke, Global Technology Practice Chair, Burson-Marsteller

“In our increasingly connected world, we cannot understand effective strategic communication without understanding cultural differences. This book makes a valuable contribution by bringing together the latest theory and research with real-world applications. We have adopted this book for courses in our Master’s in Strategic Communication program at Columbia University.”
Rebecca Heino, Ph.D., Executive Director, Communication Division, School of Professional Studies, Columbia University

“The world of the world has changed inexorably. Global citizens now turn to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat before they bathe in the morning. Kara Alaimo has lived international public relations at the highest levels. Hers is the only book you need to navigate the global social media thicket.”
Fraser Seitel, President, Emerald Partners; author of The Practice of Public Relations and former spokesperson for the Rockefeller family

“Professor Alaimo’s book Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street masterfully combines the theory and practice of contemporary global public relations…A must read for anybody looking beyond the backyard.”
Dejan Verčič, Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Centre for Marketing and Public Relations, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

“Alaimo brilliantly captures the zeitgeist of digital nativity and elegantly divines its meaning for contemporary public relations practice across the globe.  This is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the media revolution and how it has radically changed how we consume information.”
Harlan Loeb, Global Practice Chair, Crisis & Reputation Risk, Edelman

Academic Journal Articles:
Design of X’s Platform Masks Discontent With Presidential Social Media Posts Instead of Reflecting Public Opinion
Communication and Democracy, 2023

Measuring the Boundaries of America’s Permanent Campaign
Journal of Public Affairs, 17(4), 2017

Increased Efforts by Modern States to Improve their Reputations for Enforcing Women’s Human Rights
International Journal of Communication, 10, 2016.

The US President’s Most Effective Spokespeople
Journal of Communication Management, 20(2), 2016.

Which Government Officials Leak Unauthorized Information to the Press in Washington?
Journal of Public Affairs, 16(1), 2016.

How the Facebook Arabic Page “We Are All Khaled Said” Helped Promote the Egyptian Revolution
Social Media & Society, 2015.

Public Relations as Personal Relationships: How Top Bordeaux Wines Are Promoted in China
Case Studies in Strategic Communication, 4(3), 2015.

Book Chapters:

New Challenges for Political Public Relations Professionals in the Era of Social Media
In Political Public Relations: Concepts, Principles, and Applications (2nd ed.)., edited by Jesper Strömbäck and Spiro Kiousis, Routledge, 2019

The Public Relations Strategies of the Global ‘Hacktivist’ Group Anonymous
In The Global Public Relations Handbook: Theory, Research, and Practice (3rd ed.), edited by Krishnamurthy Sriramesh and Dejan Verčič, Routledge, 2019

Social Media for Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations
In Communications Writing and Design: The Integrated Manual for Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations by John DiMarco, Wiley, 2017

Press Relations in President George W. Bush’s Treasury Department
In The George W. Bush Presidency. Volume 2: Domestic and Economic Policy, edited by Meena Bose and Richard Himelfarb, Nova Science Publishers, 2016

Encyclopedia Entries:

Social Media in Mainland China: Weak Democracy, Emergent Civil Society
with Jingsi Christina Wu
Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication, 2018

The Bully Pulpit
The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior, 2017

Issue Brief:

How the United Nations Should Promote the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Center for Governance and Sustainability, September 2014.

Kids & Social Media

It’s the question all the parents I know are talking about on the playground and at birthday parties: how should we deal with our kids and social media? In “Girl Meets Instagram”, the first chapter of my book Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back, I write in detail about how social media affects teenage girls and how parents can handle their daughters’ use of it. In this checklist, I’ll explain key takeaways for parents of kids of all genders – including the things you need to do long before your kids ever get a phone or social media account.

Before Your Kids Are Online

1. Talk to your kids’ friends’ parents while they’re young and try to get on the same page about delaying when they’ll start using social media, since it will be hard to enforce a no social media policy if all your children’s friends are already online.

There’s no magic age when kids are “ready” for social media – to be honest, most adults aren’t prepared for it. But most major platforms don’t allow kids to sign up before age 13 and research does document negative effects of social media use in the youngest children, who are going through puberty. So I’m trying to hold off on letting my kids get accounts until they’re 16. Pray for me, please.

2. Discuss your family’s values long before your kids are ready for social media. Then, as they get older, you can discuss how you can all display them online (hints: Spread kindness. Support others. Watch out for friends who might be in trouble. Don’t value anyone—including yourself—for their appearances).

When Your Kids Start Using Social Media

1. Have a two-way conversation to set the ground rules for how your kids will use social media.  You can educate yourself in advance of this conversation by reading guides on the website of Common Sense Media about how different platforms work. The Family Online Safety Institute also has guides for parents on topics including how to create safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ kids online.

Ask for your kids’ input and ideas as you craft your general rules together – because you’ll probably find they have some smart ideas. For example, it’s generally not a good idea to let your kids use their phones when they’re doing their homework because constantly shifting their attention doesn’t allow them to give their work the focus it needs. But exceptions are called for – like when they need to use the Internet to do research for a paper. It’s also important to put our phones away before bedtime, because exposure to the light of our screens suppresses the release of melatonin, which is a precursor to sleep. And you’ll probably all want to put your phones aside when you’re having a family meal or important conversation and include non-digital activities as part of your schedules. But when you’re waiting for updates on a family member who is ill, for example, you’ll want to make an exception to this rule, too.

When you think about when your kids will be allowed screen time, consider making it a reward – for after their finish their homework and chores or read a book, for example. As part of the ground rules, agree that your kids will not use Artificial Intelligence or other resources available online to write their papers or cheat on their homework.

2. Talk to your kids about the pressures and dangers they’ll face on social media, from peers who ask them to sext to professional sextortionists— adults who prey on kids by pretending to establish a romantic relationship, for example, getting them to share a racy image, then blackmailing them by threatening to post it publicly unless they engage in more and more online sex acts. Remember, it’s often a felony for kids to take nude images, even of themselves. And once kids share a photo, there’s nothing to stop it from being hacked, or from their boyfriend or girlfriend forwarding it to other people. So teach your kids that they absolutely cannot ask for or send sexts – and that they should say no any other time they’re uncomfortable in a situation.

3. Make sure your kids know that other people’s lives aren’t half as glamorous as they may appear on Instagram.

4. Make sure your kids know that what they post can be used against them in very different contexts in the future.

5. Make sure your kids receive comprehensive sex education, including porn literacy, so when they’re inevitably exposed to online porn, they realize that it doesn’t represent reality. Otherwise, they may come to believe that the potentially deadly aggression like strangulation they see as a commonplace part of mainstream porn is something they should be doing – or that their bodies are somehow not worthy because they don’t look like professional porn stars.

6. Help your kids find positive role models to follow on social media and join healthy communities where they can develop their interests and identities – and avoid the potentially very dangerous ones, like the fitspiration community. And try to steer them away from more visually focused platforms like Instagram, where it can be easy to get caught up in idealized images of other people’s bodies and lives, leaving kids feeling like they don’t measure up.

7. If your kids want to be on screens, also direct them to other healthy activities online. Younger children can play games developed by PBS Kids, National Geographic Kids, or Older kids can practice their math skills through resources developed by the Khan Academy or take courses in areas that interest them through providers like Coursera and edX.

8. Watch for signs your kids are not OK – like major changes to their mood and behavior – and get professional help if they need it.

9. Be a good role model by putting away your own phone and not oversharing on social media yourself.

10. Make sure your kids get enough sleep and exercise and have opportunities to get together with friends and pursue healthy extracurricular activities based on their interests offline – which will all naturally reduce their screentime. In particular, encourage them to put away their phones and read physical books (which will help build their concentration) and get outdoors.  

11. Make sure your kids are taught digital literacy skills – like how to spot fake news and handle cyberbullying. If they’re not receiving this education in their school, sign them up for lessons at the library or use curriculums available online, like Common Sense Media’s digital citizenship curriculum or Google’s Be Internet Awesome curriculum.

12. Do not let your teens use dating apps. Full stop. They’re not safe for teens because there are way too many catfishers (people who will lie about their identities, try to establish emotional relationships with your kids online, then hit them up for money) and sexual predators on these sites.

13. Above all, make sure your children know they can come to you for help with any situation they face online without fear of punishment. No messing around here. Their lives may depend on it.

For much more, buy Kara Alaimo’s book Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back