ADL's Center for Technology and Society has selected four leading academics for its second class of Belfer Fellows. The Belfer Fellowship program advances ADL’s work by promoting cyberhate awareness and digital citizenship, as well as implementing these projects for the wider social good.
The four fellows selected are:
- Libby Hemphill, an associate professor of information at the University of Michigan. Her project will focus on using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence approaches to automatically detect new terms and phrases being used by white supremacists online.
- Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist and professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. His project will focus on whether YouTube algorithms are contributing to radicalization of viewers.
- Gabriela Richard, an assistant professor in the learning, design, and technology program at Pennsylvania State University. Her project will identify best practices and develop recommendations for live-streaming platforms and individuals to create inclusive, non-harassing spaces.
- Ari Ezra Waldman, a professor of law and the director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School. His project will explore how the law can respond to harassment and abuse through internet of things (IoT) and surveillance technologies.
“I am proud our fellowship continues to attract leaders in their respective fields who are dedicated to fighting cyberhate with new ideas and technologies,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of ADL. “We are looking forward to partnering with these fellows on their new research projects and working toward our collective goals by presenting novel solutions to influence and inform steps forward in the online space.”
Hemphill is a professor at the University of Michigan where she serves as the director of the Resource Center for Minority Data. Professor Hemphill studies politicians, non-profit organizations and television fans to understand how people use social media for both harassment and social change.
Nyhan is an American political scientist and professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is a leading researcher and thought leader on misinformation, misperception and conspiracy theories. He is also an accomplished author, a contributor to the New York Times’ Upshot blog, and a co-founder of Bright Line Watch, a watchdog group that monitors American democracy. Previously, he served as a media critic for Columbia Journalism Review.
Richard is an assistant professor of learning, design and technology at Pennsylvania State University. She previously worked at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Collaboration, Computation, Complexity, and Creativity in the Learning Sciences. Professor Richard conducts research on the ways that diverse youth and adults engage in learning, collaboration and identity formation, focusing specifically on computing, gaming and live-streaming.
Waldman is a professor of law and the director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at NYLS. He is the founder and director of the Institute for CyberSafety, which includes the first-of-its-kind, pro-bono law school clinic representing victims of online harassment. His research and writing focus on privacy, technology and society, hate and harassment on the Internet, and online social networks. His perspective on these issues has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Daily News and The Advocate, among others.
The Belfer Fellowship program is possible due to the continued generosity of the Robert Belfer Family.
ADL’s Center for Technology and Society will work with the new fellows as they pursue research in previously unexplored areas. The fellows will also augment ADL’s ongoing research efforts to help quantify and qualify online hate in a variety of social media sites, gaming platforms and other fringe online communities. As ADL continues to work on multiple fronts to make the online space less hateful, the fellows’ research will expand upon this expertise and activity.