Garlin Gilchrist, executive director of new the School of Information Center for Social Media Responsibility, will lead the center as it makes U-M research usable to media makers, media consumers and platform companies, and produces designs, systems and metrics that will aim to steer social media use toward more civil and beneficial discourse.
Paul Resnick, the Michael D. Cohen Collegiate Professor of Information chairs the Center for Social Media Responsibility and is associate dean for research and faculty affairs at UMSI. Among his research interests, Resnick has studied how people determine if the information they are reading through emails, blogs and social media is credible. He co-authored the book "Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design."
"I think some of the hype on this story is misplaced. This is not a story about hacking or data breaches but about Facebook's privacy policies, which have already tightened long before this controversy. Cambridge Analytica gathered some information about 30-50 million people, via a FB App, but it's not clear that it got very much about each person. Facebook tightened its privacy policies four years ago, so that apps now can gather even less information about a user's friends than they could then."
Aviv Ovadya, chief technology officer for the Center for Social Media Responsibility, is a misinformation engineering and design consultant who predicted the 2016 fake news crisis. Ovadya, a Knight News Innovation Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, sounded the alarm about the vulnerability of social media platforms to propaganda, misinformation and dark targeted advertising from foreign governments months before the November 2016 presidential election.
Will Potter, the Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor of Journalism, teaches courses on investigative journalism, social movements and whistleblowing. As a professional journalist his writing and opinions have appeared in the Washington Post, CNN, National Geographic, Le Monde, The Sydney Morning Herald, VICE and Rolling Stone. He is best known for his work challenging government repression and the labeling of protest as "terrorism."
"When someone violates your privacy for profit, like we're seeing with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, it feels like you've been robbed. But we have to remember that we gave Facebook the keys to our personal information," he said. "And it doesn't stop there.
Ceren Budak, assistant professor of information, and electrical engineering and computer science, is researching how much of Twitter is dubious and the spread of fake, hyperpartisan and click-bate messaging in the form of news.
Jo Angie Oehrli, learning librarian at the U-M library, currently teaches U-M's first course on "fake news." She helped develop the curricula.