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Category Archives: Education

New Publications Examine Harmful Speech Online

“The Harmful Speech Online project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is pleased to announce a new set of publications authored by a global and multidisciplinary group of project collaborators within our community. Harmful speech is proliferating online, and calls to restrain it come from virtually every country and community. Over the past several years, harmful speech online has received much more public and media attention and has emerged as one of the central challenges for Internet policy experts, often pitting protections for freedom of expression online against the rights and interests of those that are subject to online harassment. This collection of publications includes an assessment of the efforts of civil society organizations to address racist speech in Brazil and Colombia; a study of the legal foundations of harmful speech regulation in India; a paper that explores the definitional and framing questions that complicate efforts to study and address harmful speech online; and a research note that offers reflections and observations on the state of research related to harmful speech online. The perspectives outlined here are grounded in the lessons from a year of exploratory work in the field.

The papers include:

  • Defining Hate Speech” by Andy Sellars – This essay seeks to review various attempts to define hate speech, and highlight a series of traits that can be used to frame hate speech. The paper also explores tensions between hate speech and principles of freedom of expression and analyzes historical attempts to define the term in the United States.
  • Preliminary Findings on Online Hate Speech and the Law in India” by Chinmayi Arun and Nakul Nayak – This case study outlines preliminary issues noted while conducting a detailed study of hate speech laws in India and teases out some of the major concerns that arise in the context of both online and offline hate speech.
  • Grassroots Perspectives on Hate Speech, Race, and Inequality in Brazil and Colombia” by Niousha Roshani – This study discusses efforts and interventions select civil society organizations in Latin America have employed to counter racial stigma faced by the collective population of Afro-descendant youth, in an attempt to understand and examine signs of impact related to hate speech in Brazil and Colombia.
  • Understanding Harmful Speech Online: Research Note” by Robert Faris, Amar Ashar, Urs Gasser, Daisy Joo – This paper offers reflections and observations on the state of research related to harmful speech online. The perspectives outlined here are grounded in the lessons from a year of exploratory work in the field by researchers at the Berkman Klein Center and collaborating researchers and institutions. Understanding Harmful Speech Online is part of the Berkman Klein Center’s recent Networked Policymaking Series, and serves as a guide for researchers, as well as decision makers in public, private, and civil society organizations seeking to better understand and make informed decisions on this issue.”

Pew – Information Overload

“A new Pew Research Center survey finds that, for the most part, the large majority of Americans do not feel that information overload is a problem for them. Some 20% say they feel overloaded by information, a decline from the 27% figure from a decade ago, while 77% say they like having so much information… Continue Reading

Planning and Designing Academic Library Learning Spaces: Expert Perspectives of Architects, Librarians, and Library Consultants

OCLC Project Literacy – Planning and Designing Academic Library Learning Spaces: Expert Perspectives of Architects, Librarians, and Library Consultants, Alison J. Head, Project Information Literacy, Practitioner Series Research Report, December 7, 2016. (Two different versions of the report available: Full report with Methods section, 36 pages, PDF, 3.4 MB or report without Methods section, 32 pages,… Continue Reading

Report – The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think

Jakob Nielsen on November 13, 2016. “Summary: Across 33 rich countries, only 5% of the population has high computer-related abilities, and only a third of people can complete medium-complexity tasks. One of usability’s most hard-earned lessons is that you are not the user. This is why it’s a disaster to guess at the users’ needs.… Continue Reading

Job Outlook: Hiring for U.S. Jobs Expected to Be Flat

National Association of Colleges and Employers: “Hiring for U.S. openings for Class of 2017 graduates is expected to be relatively flat, according to results of NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey. Employers indicated plans to hire 5.8 percent more new graduates during 2016-17 than they did in 2015-16 for their U.S. operations. This current projection is… Continue Reading

24/7 Wall St – Ranking Gender Inequality in All 50 States

“For many Americans, the election of Donald Trump represents a step back for the feminist movement. Whether or not the president-elect’s policies will result in meaningful progress for women’s rights, there remain severe inequalities the nation has yet to overcome. These issues include a gender pay gap, a lack of flexibility in the workplace during… Continue Reading

GAO reports on student loan debt forgiveness topping $100 Billion

Federal Student Loans: Education Needs to Improve Its Income-Driven Repayment Plan Budget Estimates, GAO-17-22: Published: Nov 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2016. “For the fiscal year 2017 budget, the U.S. Department of Education (Education) estimates that all federally issued Direct Loans in Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans will have government costs of $74 billion, higher… Continue Reading

Internet Archive requests donations for a backup to be housed in Canada

This posting today by the Internet Archive’s Brewster Kahle – Help Us Keep the Archive Free, Accessible, and Private, is significant for all of us who use this resource, be it as as educators, librarians, attorneys, advocates for civil liberties, students, or as citizens or residents of the United States.  Brewster states: “We are building… Continue Reading

Campus Speech and Harassment

Tsesis, Alexander, Campus Speech and Harassment (November 23, 2016). Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 101, 2017. Available for download at SSRN: “A theoretical question that runs through the debate on the constitutionality of campus speech codes asks whether free speech values are best preserved by categorical rules or balancing factors. Whether campus codes are constitutional… Continue Reading

DHS Releases Revised FOIA Regulations, Agrees and Disagrees with EPIC’s Suggestions

Via EPIC: “The Department of Homeland Security has released revised Freedom of Information Act regulations. EPIC submitted extensive comments on the proposed changes to the agency’s open government practices. The DHS agreed to make some changes, recommended by EPIC, that should improve the processing of FOIA requests. The agency maintained a broad definition of “educational… Continue Reading

Curation, Evaluation, and Open Access for Teaching

“..It’s important for students to understand why good research can be useful. It’s not because peer reviewed research is better than any other kind of research, or that articles dressed a certain way are more true than articles that aren’t, but that academic research is driven by values that matter. Researchers ask genuine questions without… Continue Reading

The Data Visualisation Catalogue

“The Data Visualisation Catalogue is an on-going project developed by Severino Ribecca. Originally, this project was a way for me to develop my own knowledge of data visualisation and create a reference tool for me to use in the future for my own work. However, I felt it would also be useful to both designers… Continue Reading