About Us

Led by Joan Donovan, PhD, the Technology and Social Change project (TaSC) is a team of interdisciplinary researchers analyzing how contemporary technologies of communication are used by different groups to bring about social change, for better or worse. The Media Manipulation Casebook is a research platform that advances knowledge of misinformation and disinformation and their threats to democracy, public health, and security. The Casebook is a new resource for building the field of Critical Internet Studies by equipping researchers with case studies, theory, methods, and frameworks to analyze the interplay of media ecosystems, technology, politics, and society.

For additional inquiries, TaSC can be contacted at manipulation@hks.harvard.edu.

Cover illustrations by Jebb Riley. Logo designs by Kayla Jones. Website design by DevCollaborative.

The Team

Joan Donovan, PhD

Research Director, Shorenstein Center
Director, Technology and Social Change project

Joan Donovan, PhD, is the Research Director of Harvard Kennedy’s Shorenstein Center and the Director of the Technology and Social Change (TaSC) Research project. Dr. Donovan leads the field in examining media manipulation and disinformation campaigns. Her research specializes in Critical Internet Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and the Sociology of Social Movements.

Emily Dreyfuss

Senior Editor

Emily Dreyfuss is a journalist who covers the impacts of technology on society, with a focus on social media and information systems. She was a 2018 Nieman Berkman Klein fellow, a senior editor at WIRED, and the editorial director of Protocol.

Robert Faris, PhD

Senior Researcher

Robert Faris studies digital communication and the influence of networked digital technologies on democracy and governance. His current research focuses on health and political communication, and the application of computational social science methods and tools to the study of media ecosystems. 

Brian Friedberg

Senior Researcher

Brian Friedberg is an investigative ethnographer, focusing on the impacts that alternative media, anonymous communities, and unpopular cultures have on political communication and organization. Blending academic methods and Open Source Intelligence techniques, he closely examines the many factions who employ disinformation and manipulation campaigns in the contemporary online ecosystem.

Dwight Knell

Research Assistant 

Dwight Knell is a current Master of Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and works primarily at the intersection of politics, media, technology and journalism. He has led anti-misinformation efforts with organizations such as the Credibility Coalition and MisinfoCon.

Nicole Leaver

Research Assistant 

Nicole Leaver is a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy candidate at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, specializing in national security and international information and communication. Her current research examines contemporary US foreign policy, influence operations and human rights.

Gabrielle Lim

Researcher

Gabrielle Lim’s research focuses primarily on information controls and their impact on civil society, freedom of expression, and security. In addition to her role at TaSC, she is also a research fellow with Citizen Lab at the Munk School, University of Toronto.

Jennifer Nilsen

Research Fellow

Jennifer Nilsen graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with her MPP in 2020. She previously worked for the Minneapolis Public Schools, the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Organizations Project, and with NGOs focusing on youth mentoring and election education.

Poornima Rajeshwar

Research Assistant 

Poornima Rajeshwar is a researcher with experience in criminal justice reform in India and the United States. She has been involved in advocating for the rights prisoners through improved public discourse and legislative reform. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.

Funding Sources

Craig Newmark Philanthropy, Open Society Foundation, Lydia Shorenstein, Democracy Fund, Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, University of Ottawa, and the Miami Foundation.