Research Initiative


The Shorenstein Center addresses the spread and impacts of misinformation, disinformation, and media manipulation through a range of research-based approaches. We study the causes of disinformation, how it spreads through online and offline channels, why people are susceptible to believing bad information, and successful strategies for mitigating its impact.

Disinformation is not a new phenomenon. For millennia, people have manipulated information and media to suit their needs and promote their own ideological or societal interests. What has changed in the past two decades is the speed at which bad information can spread, and the rootedness that it can take on in communities, both online and off. The Shorenstein Center’s disinformation research, led by Dr. Joan Donovan and the Technology and Social Change (TaSC) Project team, builds on the idea of a lifecycle of misinformation, which helps understand where these campaigns start, how they spread and gain traction, and how they can be stopped.

Related Shorenstein Center Projects

The TaSC project 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 and disinformation campaigns.
The Journalist’s Resource is a news publication aimed at bridging the gap between journalism and academia, with the goal of getting more high-quality research into the media stream.
The HKS Misinformation Review is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing multidisciplinary research on mis- and disinformation on a fast timeline, to get important new research into the hands of practitioners who need it.

The Public Interest Tech Lab

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The Behavioral Insights Group

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Disinformation, In the News, News, Tech Policy,
Dr. Joan Donovan's work profiled in The Boston Globe
"Every day around 9 p.m., Joan Donovan bids her wife good night, heads into her home office — which she calls the “dungeon” — and binges white supremacist...
Center News, Disinformation, News, Public Interest Technology, Tech Policy,
Harvard Kennedy School Launches the Democracy and Internet Governance Initiative
Read this announcement also on the Belfer Center's website. CAMBRDIGE, MA -- Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs...