Sound information is the lifeblood of a democracy. Today, more and more information is mediated by digital technology – and with impacts that are not yet well understood. In this age of many-to-many communication, there is a clear need for fresh thinking and research to inform a new generation of democratic institutions and norms that will promote an informed society and support democratic outcomes.
In 2019, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a commitment of nearly $50 million in research to better understand how technology is transforming our democracy and to help ensure society is equipped to make evidence-based decisions on how to govern and manage the now-digital public square.
Below, read why we think this investment is essential and learn more about the research centers and projects we’re supporting.
A recent Gallup/Knight study found that three-quarters of Americans are very concerned about misinformation on the internet, but no clear sense of who bears responsibility for dealing with content that is misleading, harmful, or designed to interfere in the democratic process. While social media companies have historically been reluctant to play a heavy hand in […]
A recent study by physicist and Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics affiliate Neil Johnson explores how the views of anti-vaccine groups tend to spread more widely on social media than pro-vaccination views, increasing the chances of reaching people who are undecided on the subject. Professor Johnson’s model predicts continued growth of anti-vaccine sentiment on […]
Just a few years ago, Americans were overwhelmingly optimistic about the power of new technologies to foster an informed and engaged society. More recently, however, that confidence has been challenged by emerging concerns over the role that internet and technology companies — especially social media — now play in our democracy. A new Knight Foundation […]
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup’s latest research, a solid majority of Americans do not want political campaigns to be able to micro-target them through digital ads: 72% say that internet companies should make no information about its users available to political campaigns in order to target […]
Strengthening democracy in the digital age: Knight’s $50 million investment in a new field of research
On July 22, 2019, Knight made a $50 million investment to develop a new field of research around technology’s impact on democracy. Sam Gill, vice president of communities and impact at Knight, shares details below. When Jack and Jim Knight left behind the corpus of what would grow into the modern Knight Foundation, they had built part […]
Three think tanks doing leading-edge work on issues of market concentration in the tech industry and liability for online content will receive funding as part of Knight’s $50 million commitment
Knight Foundation invests $3.5 million in research to inform the national debate on internet governance and policy
Funding will help universities, think tanks and advocacy groups fill gaps in research needed by federal policymakers and other decision-makers Contact: Lauren Dickinson, Communications Officer, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305.908.2694, [email protected] MIAMI — Nov. 3, 2019 —The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced more than $3.5 million in funding […]
The impact of digital technologies on American democracy continues to vex policymakers, corporate players and the public at the most fundamental level. In the past month, Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Congress about Facebook’s decision to allow factually false claims in political advertising. California passed a law requiring the internet companies underpinning the “gig economy” […]
On Nov. 3, 2019, Knight made a $3.5 million investment in new research to inform the national debate on internet governance and policy, including support for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2I2). Sarah T. Roberts, Ph.D., and Safiya U. Noble, Ph.D., of UCLA share details below. A democratic and emancipatory society necessarily must […]
A new initiative on the economics of digital services: Providing a foundation for evidence-based decision-making
On November 3, 2019, Knight made a $350,000 investment in a new project at the University of Pennsylvania Law School Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition as part of a $3.5 million initiative to inform the national debate on rules, norms and governance of the internet and digital platforms. Rakesh Vohra and Christopher Yoo of […]
There is more information – and access to information – than at any time in history, but the trusted institutions and information gatekeepers of the past are no longer able to contain harmful or deceptive information as effectively. Many of the information challenges we currently face, such as misinformation and the proliferation of hate speech […]