This article proposes a theoretical approach that highlights the role of identity in information exposure and processing. This Identity Driven Information Ecosystem (IDIE) approach is premised on the idea that everyone’s information ecosystem varies, shaped by who they are, where they live, and who they interact with. Identities play a crucial role in determining the sites of communication that individuals use and engage with, and as a result, there are systematic differences in where people get information, what information they see, and how they react to it. This article lays out an argument for how identity is associated with the information we are exposed to, select, believe, and share; and it argues that identity, technology, affordances, and structures interact to shape our information ecosystems. The article concludes with a case study of the COVID-19 pandemic as an illustration of applying the IDIE approach to understand individual-level variation in information ecosystems.


Hiaeshutter-Rice, D., Madrigal, G., Ploger, G., Carr, S., Carbone, M., Battocchio, A. F., & Soroka, S. (2024). Identity Driven Information Ecosystems. Communication Theory, qtae006. .

    author = {Hiaeshutter-Rice, Dan and Madrigal, Guadalupe and Ploger, Gavin and Carr, Sydney and Carbone, Mia and Battocchio, Ava Francesca and Soroka, Stuart},
    title = "{Identity Driven Information Ecosystems}",
    journal = {Communication Theory},
    volume = {34},
    number = {2},
    pages = {82-91},
    year = {2024},
    month = {03},
    issn = {1468-2885},
    doi = {10.1093/ct/qtae006},
    url = {}}