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joan donovan

Harvard Kennedy School

Dr. Joan Donovan is director of the Technology and Social Change (TaSC) Research Project at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University. Donovan leads the field in examining internet and technology studies, online extremism, media manipulation, and disinformation campaigns. Her research and teaching interests are focused on media manipulation, effects of disinformation campaigns, and adversarial media movements. This fall, she will be teaching a graduate-level course on Media Manipulation and Disinformation Campaigns (DPI-622) with a focus on how social movements, political parties, governments, corporations, and other networked groups engage in active efforts to shape media narratives and disrupt social institutions.

Donovan’s research can be found in academic peer-reviewed journals such as Social Media + Society, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (JCE), Information, Communication & Society, Social Studies of Science, and Online Information Review. Her contributions can also be found in the books, Data Science Landscape: Towards Research Standards and Protocols and Unlike Us Reader: Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives. Dr. Donovan’s research and expertise has been showcased in a wide array of media outlets including NPR, Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and more. Prior to joining Harvard Kennedy School, Donovan was the research lead for Data & Society’s Media Manipulation Initiative, where she led a large team of researchers studying efforts to manipulate sociotechnical systems for political gain. She continues to hold an affiliate appointment with Data & Society.