The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced twenty grants totaling $1.7 million in support of research on the rules, norms, and governance of the Internet and other digital platforms.
Part of a broader $50 million commitment focused on how technology is transforming U.S. democracy, the grants include support for research that will contribute to the national conversation around technology policy issues, the limits of free expression online, and the scale and power of digital platforms. Awards include $75,000 to Boston University School of Law in support of research on the impact of laws, regulatory measures, and digital platform policies on the free speech of victims of online abuse; $250,000 to Howard University in support of an initiative focused on the digital manipulation of African-American communities; $125,000 to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies to expand its technology policy research efforts; $250,000 to the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in support of research and programming in the College of Law; and $50,000 to the University of Miami Law School in support of an examination of the doctrine of free speech in the digital age.
"As we proceed from a pandemic to an election, everything about technology is getting bigger: the companies, their role in our lives, and the debate about how to manage what we say and do online," said Sam Gill, senior vice president and chief program officer at the Knight Foundation. "From COVID-related misinformation to labeled posts by the president, it’s clear that we need to chart a path forward about how to best protect democratic values in a digital age."
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