A Harvard University researcher is known for discussing the harm memes pose on democracy.
- The dean of Harvard University Kennedy School closed a program dedicated to the research and documentation of so-called disinformation.
- “Online misinformation expert” Joan M. Donovan was given until the summer of 2024 to complete the Technology and Social Change project.
- Donovan was a “leading force in bringing the study of misinformation and disinformation to prominence in academia,” according to the Harvard Crimson.
- As part of the project’s closure, Donovan may not raise funds for the program.
- Harvard also implemented a hiring freeze and limitations on current funding.
- Harvard Kennedy School spokesperson James F. Smith stated in an email: “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.”
- The program’s closure follows Congressional hearings pertaining to the government’s suppression of free speech.
NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA REMOVES DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION PROGRAM:
- The New College of Florida fired its diversity, equity, and inclusion director (DEI) Yoleidy Rosario-Hernandez as part of its removal of the college’s “Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence.”
- Christopher Rufo, appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to the college’s board of trustees, led the termination of Rosario-Hernandez’s position.
- When asked whether her perception of DEI differs from Rufo’s, Rosario-Hernandez told the Washington Post, “I don’t think he even knows what diversity, equity and inclusion is. I see it as community. He sees it as divisiveness. … I see it as being inclusive.”
- Rosario-Hernandez added that Rufo “has one idea, and that is white supremacy.”
- Rufo responded to Rosario-Hernandez’s comments in an email, claiming he has “an in-depth understanding of how [DEI] promotes racial division, scapegoating, and discrimination.”
- Rufo added that he hopes a “period of unemployment” will give Rosario-Hernandez “the opportunity to develop real work skills, instead of fomenting hysterical racial grievance narratives.”
- After a group of Stanford Law School students and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach condemned Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kyle Duncan for refusing to change court documents to reflect the gender identity of a sex offender, Standford’s student-run newspaper called for the dean to be fired.
- The associate dean went into a 6-minute speech against the judge and accused him of “literally denying the humanity of people.”
- Although Stanford issued an apology to the judge, the student-run newspaper noted the apology “will be completely meaningless unless concrete actions are taken to rid the administration of anti-speech zealots.”
- “If these law students are to be trained for bench and bar, it certainly should be with a deep respect for the bedrock principle of free speech,” the Stanford Review said. “Steinbach’s actions not only degrade the principles of free speech but degrade the prestige and reputation of Stanford Law School itself.”
- The university has not yet taken action against the associate dean’s behavior.