An interdisciplinary team of researchers at UMass Amherst has received a $129,000 National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator grant for their work on a multi-institutional project that will investigate racially targeted misinformation and develop culturally appropriate interventions alongside Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations.
The UMass Amherst team, led by Jonathan Corpus Ong of the Department of Communication, will lead the ethnography and customer discovery aspects of the project, which aims to build capacity of AAPI organizations in response to the networked harassment and hate crimes that their communities have experienced over the past year. The project, “Fact-checker, Academic, and Community Collaboration Tools: Combating Hate, Abuse, and Misinformation with Minority-led Partnerships (FACT CHAMP),” will streamline and facilitate collaboration of fact-checkers, NGOs, researchers, and community leaders. FACT CHAMP will allow practitioners and community leaders to share misinformation data and research challenges securely with academics, while at the same time allowing academic solutions to be more easily used in practice. Joining Ong on the UMass Amherst FACT CHAMP team are Zuckerman, associate professor of public policy, communication and information and computer sciences; Wayne Xu, assistant professor of communication; and Brendan O’Connor, associate professor of information and computer sciences.