Online disinformation continues to evolve and threaten national security, federal elections, public health, and other critical U.S. sectors. Yet the federal government lacks access to data and computational power needed to study disinformation at scale. Those with the greatest capacity to study disinformation at scale are large technology companies (e.g., Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), which biases much research and limits federal capacity to address disinformation.
To address this problem, we propose that the Department of Defense (DOD) fund a one-year pilot of a National Cloud for Disinformation Research (NCDR). The NCDR would securely house disinformation data and provide computational power needed for the federal government and its partners to study disinformation. The NCDR should be managed by a governance team led by Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) already serving the DOD. The FFRDC Governance Team will manage (i) which stakeholders can access the Cloud, (ii) coordinate sharing of data and computational resources among stakeholders, and (iii) motivate participation from diverse stakeholders (including industry; academia; federal, state, and local government, and non-governmental organizations).
A National Cloud for Disinformation Research will help the Biden-Harris administration fulfill its campaign promise to reposition the United States as a leader of the democratic world. The NCDR will benefit the federal government by providing access to data and computational resources needed to combat the threats and harms of disinformation. Our nation needs a National Cloud for Disinformation Research to foresee future disinformation attacks and safeguard our democracy in turbulent times.
Despite the uphill battle the country is facing, Dr. Schlaerth feels optimistic about the future possibilities of industrial decarbonization.
“The awesome thing is that folks are really interested in a conversion to clean energy and what they can do to support the Tribe. It’s really fun to go out there and see that people want to move in that direction.”
Despite significant advances in scientific tools and methods, the traditional, labor-intensive model of scientific research in materials discovery has seen little innovation.
Community navigator programs can provide much-needed capacity combined with deep place-based knowledge to create local champions with expertise in accessing federal funding.