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The Institute for Rebooting Social Media

The Institute for Rebooting Social Media

The Institute for Rebooting Social Media is a three-year, “pop-up” research initiative to accelerate progress towards addressing social media’s most urgent problems, including misinformation, privacy breaches, harassment, and content governance. By convening participants across industry, government, civil society, and academia in focused, timebound collaboration, the Institute will build a portfolio of research, projects, programming, and educational opportunities to improve the state of the digital social space.

The goal of the new (and, by design, ephemeral) Institute is to spur real, practical changes in how online social media works. It aims to help generate, identify, elevate, and connect work across disciplines and sectors, and to see how efforts in one sector or mode—say, technical—might mesh with efforts elsewhere—such as in the legal and policy realm.

A cornerstone of the Institute is its sociotechnical approach. Institute participants will analyze the benefits, risks, and possibilities of networked communication using broad perspectives from science, law, public governance, economics, and other fields. Through this collaborative and holistic approach, the Institute will enable online ecosystems that encourage technical and social innovation while using intentional design to mitigate social harms.

Collaboratively, Institute participants will test under-discussed ideas and develop new ones; build prototype tools and protocols, whether in technical terms or as new institutions or institutional relationships; develop policies enriched by attention to sociotechnical issues; and encourage accurate and accessible narratives about social media.

The Institute and its programs are supported by generous contributions from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Reid Hoffman, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and Archewell Foundation.

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To contact the Institute team please email rebootingsocialmedia@cyber.harvard.edu.


Our Work 18

Sep 12, 2022

Opportunity: Research Assistants for the Institute for Rebooting Social Media

Join the Rebooting Social Media team! The Institute for Rebooting Social Media is a three-year research initiative at the…

Aug 17, 2022

Announcing the 2022-23 RSM Assembly Fellows

Thirteen interdisciplinary professionals who will build new interfaces, implement novel protocols, and create additional artifacts that reimagine digital social space in service…

May 16, 2022 @ 12:00 PM

The Tower and the Park: Structural Misalignments of Social Media

Joanne Cheung will discuss “Real Estate Politik: Democracy and the Financialization of Social Networks"...

May 12, 2022

Hiring: Program Coordinator, Rebooting Social Media

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University seeks a Program Coordinator for educational programs and research within the Institute for Rebooting Social…

Event
Apr 21, 2022 @ 5:00 PM

Private Consciences and Public Companies: Whether and How to Work within Big Tech

How should students think about working for Big Tech companies? What are the ethical considerations that students should ponder?

Apr 13, 2022

Apply for the Rebooting Social Media Assembly Fellowship

Applications due May 6, 2022

For professionals who are building projects that help reimagine the digital space to better support democratic governance...

News
Apr 7, 2022

Announcing the Institute for Rebooting Social Media's 2022-23 Visiting Scholars

Scholars will be in residence developing research into social media and the prospects for interventions to improve it.

Rebooting Social Media
Jan 20, 2022

It Could Happen (T)here: Transnational Advocacy Strategies Around Social Media

Invited workshop brings activists, scholars, and practitioners together from across disciplines, sectors, and countries

How might we better connect the experiences and negative impacts that social media has had around the world? How can we use those connections to advance advocacy, research, and…

Jan 19, 2022

Rebooting Social Media Student Discussion Group — Apply Now!

The Institute for Rebooting Social Media is currently recruiting Harvard graduate students for a spring discussion group.

Rebooting Social Media
Dec 16, 2021

Social media as a crisis discipline

Invited workshop brings experts together from across disciplines, sectors, and countries

How can the science of catastrophic collective behavior provide insight into the woes of social media platforms?

News
Nov 24, 2021

BKC incorporating "#GoodID" into research and programs

#GoodID, an effort to catalyze constructive conversation around digital identity, will be a part of the Center's research and programming in the coming year.

Event
Nov 18, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

The Technology Future We Want: Imagining Positive Futures for Social Media

EVENT RECAP: "Psychedelic Bubbles and a Non-Euclidian Costume Party: Imagining positive futures for social media"

News
Nov 17, 2021

Student Groundwork

Initial explorations from research assistants at the Institute for Rebooting Social Media

To start spinning up the Institute, a team of staff and research assistants investigated the existing landscape of academic and civil society efforts to improve and reimagine…

Event
Oct 19, 2021 @ 1:00 PM

Private Social Media Data in the Public Interest: What’s Next?

VIDEO: This October 19 panel explored dilemmas, debates, and paths forward for public interest research access to social media data.

Oct 14, 2021

Apply for the Institute for Rebooting Social Media's 2022-2023 Visiting Scholars Program

For faculty who wish to spend next academic year developing research around social media's opportunities and harms...

News
Aug 6, 2021

Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center Receives $2 Million From Knight Foundation To Combat Disinformation

James Mickens shares insights into the Center's new Institute for Rebooting Social Media.

News
Jul 21, 2021

Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society to launch a three-year multidisciplinary Institute to “reboot social media”

The initiative will help to address a wide range of topics related to social media and beyond

Jul 21, 2021

A note from Jonathan Zittrain

Exciting news and opportunities from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

The Berkman Klein Center shares exciting news and opportunities from our co-founder Jonathan Zittrain


Community 10

Poetics

Digital assistants: Inequalities and social context of access, use, and perceptual understanding

Yong Jin Park, RSM Visiting Scholar, analyzes the digital inequality in AI.  "This study focuses on digital divide in the context of access, use, and perceptual…

Sep 15, 2022
Harvard Law Today

‘Living by Protocol’ meditates on the impact of social media and its future

Berkman affiliates preview ‘Living by Protocol,’ the exhibition by metaLAB that runs through July 3 at Harvard Art Museums

Jun 7, 2022
Lawfare

Telegram’s Embrace of Contradiction

Will Marks and David Nemer assess Telegram's content moderation.

Apr 6, 2022
Financial Times

Bolsonaro crafts new social media strategy ahead of Brazil election

David Nemer discusses Bolsonaro supporters’ migration from WhatsApp to Telegram.

Jan 12, 2022
All Tech is Human

Inside the Institute for Rebooting Social Media

Hilary Ross dives deep into the mission of the Institute for Rebooting Social Media at All Tech is Human's Responsible Tech University Summit.

Dec 29, 2021
Harvard Law Today

Is it time to swipe left on social media?

Jonathan Zittrain, evelyn douek, and John Palfrey share insights on the consequences of social media after a Facebook whistleblower dominated headlines last week. …

Oct 12, 2021
CNN Business

Facebook's success was built on algorithms. Can they also fix it?

James Mickens and Hilary Ross discuss the drawbacks and potential solutions of social media algorithms.

Oct 10, 2021
Harvard Law School

Design for Democratic Discourse

Jonathan Zittrain and Deb Roy will teach a seminar on the design of digital media at Harvard Law School in Fall 2021.

Jul 19, 2021
The Atlantic

The Internet Is Rotting

Jonathan Zittrain shares the ways humanity’s knowledge can change or disappear without warning on the Internet

Jun 30, 2021
Assembly

Assembly Student Fellowship: A Seminar with James Mickens

James Mickens discusses combatting disinformation in a seminar for the Assembly Student Fellows of 2021.

Apr 8, 2021

People 08

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