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Harvard Shutting Down Project Studying Social Media Misinformation

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Log0 of the Technology and Social Change Center.

Kennedy School officials said the school would continue to study similar issues through other projects, including one known as the Misinformation Review.

Credit: Shorenstein

Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government announced that next year it will close a research facility that studied online misinformation.

Launched in 2019, the Technology and Social Change Project has released research on the spread of coronavirus hoaxes and online incitement strategies that preceded the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

The Kennedy School's Nancy Gibbs said the center will close because research director Joan Donovan is not a faculty member, which school policy dictates must lead the facility.

Chris Gilliard at the nonprofit Social Science Research Council bemoaned this move, calling it "a crushing and damaging decision based on all the good work the program has accomplished."

Misinformation tracker Alethea Group's Lisa Kaplan, who also criticized the center's closure, said, "Reducing free access to limited and research APIs [application programming interfaces] also inhibits the academic community to study these types of threats."

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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