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Harvard Kennedy School Fires ‘Misinformation Expert’ Joan Donovan

Harvard Kennedy School Fires ‘Misinformation Expert’ Joan Donovan

“Donovan’s dismissal comes as so-called misinformation experts and professional fact-checkers come under fire for protecting Democrats from negative press”

Harvard Kennedy School is letting go of ‘misinformation expert’ Joan Donovan and ending her research project. There was reported “tension” between Donovan and the school’s dean, Douglas Elmendorf.

The Washington Free Beacon has details:

Report: Harvard Cans School’s Media ‘Misinformation’ Expert

Harvard University is forcing out the school’s so-called misinformation expert who has led the university’s research into issues such as “media manipulation” and “adversarial media movements,” the Harvard Crimson reported.

Harvard Kennedy School dean Douglas Elmendorf informed Joan Donovan, a noted expert on disinformation surrounding the coronavirus, white supremacy, and critical race theory, that she must leave the Ivy League school by the summer of 2024, according to the Crimson. Donovan, who joined the school in 2019, is no longer allowed to fundraise, and the school instated a hiring freeze for her projects.

The Crimson pointed to “tensions” between the expert and Elmendorf as the reason for the firing.

Donovan’s dismissal comes as so-called misinformation experts and professional fact-checkers come under fire for protecting Democrats from negative press, frequently calling for the censorship of damaging reports under the pretense of suppressing misinformation.

Some of Donovan’s work included a report blaming Donald Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and a book called Meme Wars: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America. Donovan’s work has appeared in NPR, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the New York Timesaccording to her faculty profile.

Donovan tweeted about her future plans:

Semafor has more on this:

Donovan’s departure from Harvard will mark the end of an era. She was the among the most visible of a group of academics and journalists who argued that false claims spread on social platforms by the populist right posed a central danger to American society. Her message was embraced by Democrats, and she testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

But the notion that non-partisan researchers can separate “misinformation” from political argument has itself become bitterly contested, and Donovan sometimes drew criticism…

Donovan was also a successful academic fundraiser, and her profile and the scale of her work often overshadowed other projects at the Kennedy School.

That last detail probably explains much of what’s going on here.

Featured image via YouTube.


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What was she giving misinformation on, how to diet and lose weight?

    alaskabob in reply to Paula. | February 3, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    The only “mis” is in “never missed a meal” …. feeding her inner Hobbit. This is the usual path of going beyond reasonable to destruction as the Left is never happy and never finished righting the wrongs of their world.

    walls in reply to Paula. | February 3, 2023 at 3:27 pm

    Wow, a triple chin. If she were to challenge Stacey Abrams to an eating contest, I honestly wouldn’t know whom to wager on.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Paula. | February 3, 2023 at 3:51 pm


    CommoChief in reply to Paula. | February 3, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    She certainly seems to have misidentified more than a few fatty cakes as healthy alternatives.

    RandomCrank in reply to Paula. | February 3, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    Good God, she resembles a farm animal.

    Above all, she’s a donut expert.

    Dimsdale in reply to Paula. | February 4, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    From her bio on Wikipedia:

    “Donovan earned her PhD in Sociology and Science Studies from the University of California San Diego, and was a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Society and Genetics at UCLA where her expertise was social movements, technology, and white supremacist’s use of DNA ancestry tests.[4][5] She later held the role of Research Lead for the Media Manipulation Initiative at Data and Society, and mapped how interest groups, governments, political operatives, corporations, and others use the internet and media to disrupt social institutions.[6] After Data and Society, Donovan went on to lead the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard Kennedy School and teach the class Media Manipulation and Disinformation Campaigns.”

    In other words, her entire career is a fabrication. Wanna bet she never found any “misinformation” coming from leftist groups?

    Bucfan21 in reply to Paula. | February 5, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    “See? Proof I shot down that massive Chinese spy balloon!”
    – Dementia Joe

“Lucky there’s a Family Guy…”

She can always have a job in the fields pulling the plow. Might do her some good, too.

I suppose misinformation would be measured in temperature degrees. It’s what two systems come to the same of if they’re put in contact and left alone.

She must of eaten Harvard out of house and home

Why must lesbians just forget to have any self pride?

I know I know there are some beautiful lesbians, but they are not the norm

She is the norm

I say this as a heterosexual that could afford to lose a few pounds, but mine is hormonal you know…

And compare Democratic women to
Republican/Independent woman, Dem women are just plain unattractive, and yes, I’m looking at you AOC

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to gonzotx. | February 4, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    Most lesbians I have seen, at least the ones who play in bands for a living, are much much better looking than this woman.

2smartforlibs | February 3, 2023 at 3:23 pm

Fact Checker: for a long time has met an arm of the left ( non-journalistic) that attacks anyone not bending a knee for the left-wing narrative

    henrybowman in reply to 2smartforlibs. | February 3, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    The most remarkable part of this article is that it’s Harvard showing her the loading door.

      gonzotx in reply to henrybowman. | February 3, 2023 at 4:47 pm

      Loading dock

      There I fixed it for you

      #FJB <-- Disco Stu_ in reply to henrybowman. | February 4, 2023 at 6:17 am

      Well, it does say (in part) that her “profile … overshadowed”.

      ChrisPeters in reply to henrybowman. | February 5, 2023 at 3:38 pm

      Perhaps, but remember that many on the Left were dissatisfied with Biden. They felt he was not sufficiently radical, but they agreed to support him following his deal with Bernie Sanders. For all we know, Harvard would want someone even more crazy, or just better at spreading hatred of America without bringing criticism to Harvard.

Fat_Freddys_Cat | February 3, 2023 at 3:32 pm

These “experts” speak of “misinformation” as if it’s something new. FFS Mark Twain told jokes about how you couldn’t trust newspapers.

“she must leave the Ivy League school by the summer of 2024”

That doesn’t even remotely meet most people’s definition of “fired”.

Misinformation indeed.

“I think for my next career, I’ll open up a lesbian bookstore that’s got a coffee stand and uhaul rental inside. ”

Genius. Pacifica Radio (KBOO) sets the mood. Thursday Celtic-lesbian poetry hour. Shade-grown fair trade coffee ($9). And a fossil fuel burning U-Haul truck rental. Because a Prius’ carrying capacity is rated 1000 pounds or less.

UPDATE (July 6, 2018) — Portland Oregon’s iconic feminist bookstore and community space, In Other Words, has announced it’s closing at the end of June (…) the board says increased expenses and a lack of funds and volunteers have made operations impossible to continue.

IneedAhaircut | February 3, 2023 at 4:07 pm

You’re Fired! — you’ve got 18 months to clear out your desk.
Ah, the joys of academia!

Strongly suspect she will not miss any meals over this.

Now that she is a free agent, I heard that Xi Jinpeng and Putin will get into a bidding war for her services. They know that there is no better training ground for … ahh, … err … “misinformation specialists” than Harvard.

Joan Donovan, a noted expert on disinformation surrounding the coronavirus, white supremacy, and critical race theory,

So is “noted expert” in these fields synonymous with “known liar” or “noted fabulist”?

Been without power for 3 days, must say I was losing it, about to pack up the dogs and go to sons place in Austin and BAM
God spoke and we have heat!

I also stink, there’s that…

Nothing like windmills for energy
But alas they are blaming the trees

Now I’m from Wisconsin, ice and snow storms are the norm, we don’t have no power outages

We don’t depend on windmills, and we sure as hell have a lot of trees in Wisconsin

Lying lies and liars who tell them

    txvet2 in reply to gonzotx. | February 3, 2023 at 5:34 pm

    I don’t know about Austin, but people lost power here for around 16 hours, and it was definitely ice on the lines and fallen trees/limbs, plus some downed power poles in a road construction area. It doesn’t happen up north as much because it’s a normal winter occurrence and they build for it. As for me, I have a generator. Once burned, twice prepared.

      gonzotx in reply to txvet2. | February 4, 2023 at 12:36 am

      Yes trees were “part” of it but not the real reason
      Yes all northern states prepare for this, as Texas should, but hasn’t, wouldn’t you think after multiple winters with issue that maybe they hire people who know what they are doing amd GEat RID of the WINDMILLS?

        txvet2 in reply to gonzotx. | February 4, 2023 at 1:22 am

        The windmills are mostly in w/nw Texas and weren’t affected by this particular ice storm. It was mostly ice – in fact, I haven’t even seen a mention of any power shortage. You have to see it to believe it. I’ve been here for over 40 years and have never seen an ice storm to approach this one. I’ve got at least 8-9 downed trees within 100 feet of my house and I have no idea how many more further back on my property, because I can’t get there yet. I’ll be weeks getting this all cleared up, but my guesstimate is at least 2 full cords of firewood by the time I’ve finished cleaning it all up, just from what I can see so far.

      gonzotx in reply to txvet2. | February 4, 2023 at 12:37 am

      A full house generator costs 10-12,000 , I was playing the odds

      Not a good gambler

    txvet2 in reply to gonzotx. | February 3, 2023 at 11:13 pm

    BTW, you missed a few. Concentrate, concentrate.

She could join Putin’s misinformation effort….if he can feed her..

What’s the difference between a misinformation expert and a narrative engineer? Is the former basically the inspector for the latter?

    henrybowman in reply to MrE. | February 3, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    The former finds reasons why your broken narrative is out of warranty.
    “That’s old news. We’ve known that for a long time.”

So if I understand correctly, this woman is the authority whom one should consult in order to avoid being misinformed about

spike protein/myocarditis;


and quarterbacking.

Not Dr. Peter McCullough;
Not Dr. Robert Malone;
Not Dr. Pierre Kory.

Not Prof. Wm. Jacobson;
Not Joe Hoft;
Not Pamela Geller

Not Tom Brady.
Not Aaron Rodgers;
Not Pat Mahomes.

Ok , got it.

    gonzotx in reply to Mr. G. | February 4, 2023 at 12:42 am

    I think I’ll skip the QB’s as experts in science but agree with the Dr selection

    I myself did not get the shot as a nurse, lucky I was allergic to the flu vaccine and even the CDC said couldn’t take it… not that I was going to, but gave me an out at works

    Others were not as lucky

    Dr Malone DID get 2 shots, and had a severe reaction to #2, but I found it interesting he would take them knowing what he did about MRNA, being the father of the science so to speak..

      Mr. G in reply to gonzotx. | February 4, 2023 at 7:13 am

      Perhaps clumsily , I was attempting to point out that if one is seeking to avoid misinformation about anything, it seems ludicrous to assign any single human a title such as “expert on misinformation.”

      How did society survive for thousands of years without misinformation experts?!!! Lolol

      If you have a plumbing question you ask a plumber. Maybe you get a second opinion. Or a third opinion.

      But the Last Person on Earth to ask would be this soon-to-be former Harvard employee.

      – – – –

      Questions about blogging? Ask a blogger duh

      Questions about playing quarterback? Speak with a quarterback. Or a coach.

      It seems to me the very notion of a Expert in Misinformation ……… it strikes me like a Medicine Man out on the Great Plains in the 1800s

Ferfuggs eggs | February 3, 2023 at 6:38 pm

So this is where trigglypuff ended up

I’m sure a staff position will open up for her on the Biden Administration

Can you just imagine her grocery bills?!

The Gentle Grizzly | February 3, 2023 at 9:34 pm

So many comments about her weight. So few about her styrofoam job.

They should make her likeness into a covid refrigerator magnet. She probably believes the party line that everyone’s susceptibility is the same.

So she is an angry Progressive Lesbian that hates Trump and figured out a way to jump on the grievance train to make a very good living. Ok, but I don’t understand her tweet. What’s coffee and UHaul got to do with anything. Makes no sense. UHaul so all the radical lesbians can leave Harvard? Win!

She’s being removed? I assume a crane will be required?

Most commentators here are posting only slams against her weight — not the danger she and others are doing as partisan “fact-checkers.”

Some of you guys need to look into a mirror.

    Tiki in reply to JR. | February 4, 2023 at 3:25 pm


    The_Mew_Cat in reply to JR. | February 4, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    It is kind of amazing that so many of our most vocal political enemies are as fat as this woman. Maybe they are angry because nobody wants them for sex.

Too much time on the fund raising dinner circuit I guess

She’s a “noted expert.”

lord–between the gas and her would-be suitors, probaly no screens in her house

The ‘Meme Wars’ book is interesting in it does give some background for people that I was not aware of (i.e. Milo & Cernovich), and am certainly am not endorsing the book or even the material given as factual. It is very tedious. Could not finish it in one try. She is not shy with her bias or in representing it as gospel. Going back some time to finish it.

It’s hilarious she was fired.

These are the modern kind of “experts”, knowing everything “about* a thing, without being expert in *doing* the thing. Or so they think of themselves.

All-you-can-eat buffets across Massachusetts fall to their metaphorical knees in thanks.

Jeopardy: “Climb stairs, pass on seconds, and get a date.”

Q: What are three things Harvard’s “misinformation director” is unable to accomplish?