In 2018, ADL Center for Technology and Society (CTS), with the support of the Robert Belfer Family, launched the Belfer Fellows program. The second class of Belfer fellows includes four leading academics studying white supremacist language online, YouTube’s recommender algorithms, moderation for livestreaming sites, and tech-enabled intimate partner violence. The Belfer Fellowship program advances ADL’s work by promoting awareness around online hate and digital citizenship, as well as implementing these projects for the wider social good.
The four 2019 fellows 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. 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.
Work by Libby Hemphill for the Belfer Fellowship
- ADL Blog: "Agnostic About Extremism: Tech Companies' Roles in Spreading Dangerous Content from the Buffalo Shooting"
- Op-ed in VentureBeat: "To truly target hate speech, moderation must extend beyond civility | VentureBeat"
- ADL Report: "Very Fine People: What Social Media Platforms Miss About White Supremacist Speech"
Brendan 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.His project will focus on whether YouTube algorithms are contributing to radicalization of viewers.
Work by Brendan Nyhan for the Belfer Fellowship
- Op-ed in the Washington Post: "YouTube still hosts extremist videos. Here's who watches them. - The Washington Post"
- ADL Report: "Exposure to Alternative & Extremist Content on YouTube"
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. 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.
Work by Gabriela Richard for the Belfer Fellowship
Ari Ezra Waldman
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 the internet of things (IoT) and surveillance technologies. 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.