News on Wedge Issues

The recent decision by Big Tech to ban prominent politicians, including President Donald Trump, and enforce strict content moderation against hate speech, mis/disinformation, and violence is a new precedent that could prove consequential for the future of online speech—and for the future of democracy. Join Belfer Center’s Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project as it […]

Trump supporters’ storming of the Capitol, as Trump refused to concede his loss in the 2020 presidential election, underscored the significant challenges confronting U.S. democracy. The presence of armed, violent vigilante groups roaming city streets, state capitals and university campuses, with the president’s blessing, affects every American, including and beyond those who are directly targeted […]

All is not well: Many of the high-profile health workers originally joined Twitter for the same reasons journalists and other professionals do. Sure there’s nonsense aplenty on the site, but there are also pockets to talk policy, to hear about research, to meet colleagues from all over the country, to connect — long before the pandemic […]

In the wake of recent allegations against Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek, senators from both parties have introduced a new bill that would impose sweeping new regulations on online sites, platforms, and apps that host adult content. Though the bill is meant to prevent exploitation and trafficking, critics argue that the changes would create […]

Back in March, when the pall of the pandemic hung over the city, and long stretches of Broadway were as desolate as a dry creek bed, the New York Police Department began enforcing a mandate to observe social-distancing measures. Between March 17th and May 4th, the Times reported, the police made forty arrests for social-distancing […]

Digital platforms are transforming practices of political information production and circulation in local communities. We develop the theoretical concept of local political information infrastructure to draw attention to (1) the broadening array of actors who are producing political information in local communities, in addition to local news media, and (2) the role of network media […]

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The widespread embrace of conspiracy and disinformation amounts to a “mass radicalization” of Americans, and increases the risk of right-wing violence, veteran security officials and terrorism researchers warn. At conferences, in op-eds and at agency meetings, domestic terrorism analysts are raising concern about the security implications of millions of conservatives buying into baseless right-wing claims. […]

A vaccine—or vaccines—for COVID-19 could arrive soon, with Pfizer and Moderna among the first drugmakers to seek emergency use authorization for their candidates. But with so many people already skeptical of vaccines, how will we ensure that enough people take them when they’re available? To answer that question, I talked to Heidi Larson, an anthropologist […]

As part of the Center for Community Media’s (CCM) Black Media Initiative, we’re offering a map and directory of nearly 300 media outlets across the U.S. that primarily serve Black communities across the diaspora. With a national map that includes publications of multiple formats and topics, we are filling a long-existing void. Black media has […]

PARIS—The nation that gave us Louis Pasteur—whose scientific discoveries paved the way for human vaccination—has become a global hotspot for anti-vaxxer conspiracies and scientific distrust that experts say could allow COVID-19 to remain in France for years to come. Almost half the country said in a recent poll it will shun the coronavirus vaccine, meaning […]

The insidious problem of online violence against women journalists is increasingly spilling offline, with potentially deadly consequences, a new global survey suggests. Twenty percent of women journalists and media workers who participated in the survey – run by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – […]

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