A leaked email Friday confirmed that, after several years of operation, a Harvard University would close a project that tracked so-called social media misinformation, The Hill reported.
The Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Safety will end its Technology and Social Change Project by the summer of 2024 and fire its lead, Joan M. Donovan.
Shorenstein Center Director Nancy Gibbs made the announcement to members of the center's advisory board one day after news of the decision was provided to The Harvard Crimson.
HKS spokesperson James F. Smith told the school paper on Thursday that HKS Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf forced out Donovan, who has taught at the school as an adjunct lecturer, because she was not a tenure-track professor.
"The Technology and Social Change project is winding down — through an extended transition — because it does not have intellectual and academic leadership by a full HKS faculty member, as required of all long-term research and outreach projects at HKS," Smith stated.
Staff members at HKS also said that Donovan would undergo spending restraints and not be allowed to raise new funding. In addition, the project is not allowed to hire any new researchers.
Gibbs' email indicated Donovan would retain her position until next year with TASC, exploring "media manipulation as a means to control public conversation, derail democracy, and disrupt society," fully funded over that period.
The school plans to continue researching misinformation through other projects, specifically the Misinformation Review and the Public Interest Tech Lab's Facebook archive project.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.