Activists have long asked, “Is another world possible?” 

We ask: 


The technologies we build to communicate with one another have a significant impact on how we define, organize, and solve problems as a society. 

Founded by Joan Donovan, PhD, CISI is an organization whose goal is two-fold. We detect, document, and debunk how our current internet infrastructure is exploited by those looking to disrupt social institutions and derail democracy. We also work with practitioners to coproduce a "Public Interest Internet," an infrastructure that would support the distribution of TALK (Timely Accurate Local Knowledge) and be responsive to community concerns.

CISI fosters knowledge mobilization with the goal of turning intelligence into action. This is through organizing advocacy to design a public interest internet: one that puts safety and privacy at the core of its design. In order to find different strategies to combat misinformation-at-scale and make a public interest internet possible, CISI implements unique public engagement projects with exceptional research collaborators and creative educational programs. We aim to generate a whole-of-society approach to combating hate, harassment, and incitement.

It’s no longer enough to point out what is wrong with technology and hope the message reaches key stakeholders. We must also build capacity across sectors – from journalism, civil society, academia, technology, to policymaking – so that we can develop institutional resilience and bring about the web we deserve. 

Joan Donovan, PhD


Joan Donovan, PhD, is an award-winning sociologist and Assistant Professor of Journalism and Emerging Media Studies at Boston University. She is coauthor of Meme Wars: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America. Dr. Donovan’s research focuses on media manipulation and democracy. Her work has been showcased in various outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, MIT Technology Review and more. She is the former Research Director of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy. 

She also co-created the beaver emoji. 🦫


On social media as BostonJoan

ALL donations support research and public education.