Dr. Joan Donovan, an online misinformation “expert’ who specializes in creating her own misinformation, runs the Harvard “misinformation” research program, at least for now. Per the Harvard Crimson, Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf is forcing her out of the school. Donovan’s research included the Hunter laptop story was fake, and the January 6th riot proved the need for a “truth commission.” Dean Elmendorf told Donovan she had to end her research and get the heck away from Harvard by the summer of 2024.
While heading the project, Donovan cast doubt on the Hunter Biden laptop story, which leftist media reluctantly admitted was a valid story, years after it was broken by Emma-Jo Morris and Miranda Devine in the New York Post in 2020. Donovan’s argument? That Hunter Biden could have afforded a better laptop repair man.
“So, we pretty much expected more and different styles of attack, including a leak, but was really suspicious of it, is you’ve got someone with millions of dollars. He can’t afford Geek Squad at Best Buy to come to his house for the laptop that he has evidence of crimes on? I mean, it’s really hard to believe,” said Donovan on a Harvard Kennedy School podcast.
Two years ago, The Lid reported about a NY Times op-ed by their technology reporter Kevin Roose which included comments by Donovan:
Joan Donovan, the research director of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, suggested that the Biden administration could set up a “truth commission,” similar to the 9/11 Commission, to investigate the planning and execution of the Capitol siege on Jan. 6. This effort, she said, would ideally be led by people with deep knowledge of the many “networked factions” that coordinated and carried out the riot, including white supremacist groups and far-right militias.
“There must be accountability for these actions,” Dr. Donovan said. “My fear is that we will get distracted as a society and focus too much on giving voice to the fringe groups that came out in droves for Trump.”
In an internal email obtained by Semafor Thursday, the Technology and Social Change Project was being shut down for bureaucratic reasons.
“The Kennedy School’s standing policy is that all research projects must be led by a full faculty member. While there can be limited exceptions, those can’t continue indefinitely without a faculty member as the principal project leader and academic head,” she wrote.
Since Donovan started the “misinformation” project in 2019, why did it take four years for the far-left university to decide the hiring of this left-wing biased misinformation researcher didn’t follow the rules? The Crimson reported that wasn’t the reason for the change. Apparently, Donovan and Elmendorf were not getting along:
Tensions between Elmendorf and Donovan rose in the fall of 2021, according to three HKS [Harvard Kennedy School] staff members, around when Donovan started to work on HKS’ Facebook archive project, fbarchive.org. The archive will provide researchers and journalists with access to photos of documents obtained by Frances B. Haugen, the 2021 Facebook whistleblower who disclosed internal Facebook research on its technologies’ negative effects.
Conservatives should not get excited that Harvard Kennedy School booted a far-left misinformation researcher. Based on the school’s recent history, they will probably replace Donovan with someone more liberal.