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Joan Donovan

Assistant Professor of Journalism and Emerging Media Studies, Boston University

Donovan leads the field in examining internet and technology studies, online extremism, disinformation and media manipulation. She is founder of The Critical Internet Studies Institute, a non-profit that advocates for a public interest internet and co-author of MEME WARS: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America with Emily Dreyfuss and Brian Friedberg.

Donovan’s research explores how media manipulation is a means to control public conversation, derail democracy, and disrupt society. She conducts research, develops methods, and facilitates workshops for journalists, policy makers, technologists, and civil society organizations on how to detect, document, and debunk media manipulation campaigns.

Donovan was the former Research Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy, where she directed the Technology and Social Change Research Project. Her team researched media manipulation, disinformation, and adversarial media movements and published open access textbook, the Media Manipulation Casebook. Her public scholarship has been showcased in a wide array of media mainstream outlets, including MIT Technology Review, NPR, Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Atlantic.