The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University seeks an extraordinary full-time, salaried employee fellow to join the Center’s Lumen project. The fellowship provides the opportunity to develop substantive and scholarly work on the global takedown and intermediary liability landscape, especially as it relates to the major challenges of the current moment.
Lumen is a research project collecting and studying requests and demands of all kinds --both legitimate and questionable-- to remove material from online, including copyright takedown notices, government requests and court orders. The project’s goals are to encourage and facilitate both research and transparency about the different kinds of complaints and requests for removal that are being sent to Internet publishers and service providers, and to provide as much information as possible about such notices -- of which Lumen’s database contains over twelve million, referencing the removal of approximately 4.5 billion URLs -- in terms of who is sending them and why, and to what effect.
The fellow will be a core member of the Lumen team along with Lumen’s Project Manager, Lead Software Engineer, and Principal Investigator, as well as a member of the broader Berkman Klein academic community. The fellow’s primary responsibility will be to incubate and support the program’s internal research efforts by conducting scholarly or policy-oriented research relying on the information in Lumen’s database. Additionally, the fellow will work where appropriate with external researchers working with Lumen data; join the project team as a thought partner regarding Lumen’s efforts to work with data providers, help develop researcher tools, manage data in the database; and contribute to the organization and hosting of a planned series of multi-stakeholder convenings (most saliently regarding best practices for online takedown transparency and research). The fellow will have an opportunity to write, speak, and engage with the media on topics relevant to Lumen’s work.
The fellowship position is an excellent opportunity for individuals who wish to expand their knowledge and capacity in the fields of copyright, online content regulation, international online intermediary liability, the “right to be forgotten”, other related topics, and is well suited for candidates who wish to pursue their own scholarship in this area, especially as it may pertain to either the pandemic or the nationwide protests, while also contributing to the work of the Berkman Klein Center.
The fellow will be part of the intellectual community at the Berkman Klein Center, which includes a wide range of people working on issues related to the Internet and society, including scholars, practitioners, innovators, and others committed to understanding and advancing the public interest. The Berkman Klein Center fellowship program aims to encourage and support fellows in an inviting and rigorous intellectual environment, with community activities designed to foster inquiry and collaboration. As a member of this community, the fellow will be able to participate in workshops and events at the Center and across the university, and have frequent opportunities to expand their knowledge of technology, law, and policy. In these various capacities, the fellow will cultivate and support relationships among Harvard faculty and experts in related fields, and engage with a range of stakeholders in broader research and policy circles; plan, communicate, and execute internal and external meetings and events; produce internal updates and reports; conduct research and contribute to program publications; coordinate public-facing communications in conjunction with the Berkman Klein Center’s communications manager; provide additional support to project and Center activities as needed; and potentially supervise research assistants and summer interns involved in the program.
The fellowship is a full-time position based in Cambridge, MA through June 30, 2021, with possible extension based on funding and business needs.
Advanced degree in a relevant field of study, such as law, the social sciences, media, or computation.
Previous experience working in the substantive area of online content regulation and removal, intermediary liability, or a developing expertise in a related area is strongly preferred.
Excellent writing and verbal skills, sound judgment, exceptional ethical standards, and proven ability in interpersonal communication, supervision, and team building are essential. The ideal candidate must be proactive and accountable, and be equipped to manage multiple commitments, competing deadlines, and shifting priorities. Flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to multitask while in a team environment are critical. The fellow must be capable of balancing the many goals of the program, including communications, research, networking, and community building. A successful candidate will be a highly motivated self-starter in order to contribute to Lumen’s ambitious objectives.
More About Lumen
Conceived, developed, and founded in 2002 by then-Berkman Klein Center Fellow Wendy Seltzer, Lumen, then called "Chilling Effects", was initially focused on requests submitted under the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As the Internet and its usage has evolved, so has Lumen, and the database now includes complaints of all varieties, including trademark, defamation, and privacy, domestic and international, and court orders. The Lumen database grows by more than 40,000 notices per week, with voluntary submissions provided by companies such as Google, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Counterfeit Technology, Medium, Stack Exchange, Vimeo, DuckDuckGo, aspects of the University of California system, and Wordpress. As of the summer of 2020, the project hosts approximately twelve million notices, referencing over four billion URLs. In 2019, the project website was visited over ten million times by users from virtually every country in the world.
About the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally-networked environment. A diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, technologists, policy experts, and advocates, we seek to tackle the most important challenges of the digital age while keeping a focus on tangible real-world impact in the public interest. Our faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates conduct research, build tools and platforms, educate others, form bridges and facilitate dialogue across and among diverse communities.
Commitment to Diversity
The work and well-being of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society are profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and much more. We actively seek and welcome people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.
How to Apply
Applicants should email a cover letter that explains interest and motivation in the role, CV, and relevant writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. All offers are made by the Harvard Law School Human Resources Office.