September 14, 2021

Announcing the 2021 recipients of research awards in misinformation and polarization

By: Meta Research

In June 2021, Facebook launched the third Foundational Integrity Research request for proposals (RFP) on misinformation and polarization. Today, we’re announcing the winners of this award.


Through this RFP, we aim to support the growth of scientific knowledge in the areas of misinformation, polarization, information quality, and social conflict on social media and social technology platforms. Our goal is also to contribute to a shared understanding across the broader scientific community and technology industry on how social technology companies can better address social issues on their platforms.

“Our collaborations with researchers from all over the world are critical to advancing our understanding of how technology impacts people and society,” says Pratiti Raychoudhury, Head of Research at Facebook. “I’m excited to support the academic community in cultivating scientific knowledge and building community.”

The RFP attracted 446 high-quality proposals from 288 universities and institutes around the world. We are pleased to announce the 19 winning proposals below, which cover research in 21 countries: Australia, Cameroon, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a proposal, and congratulations to the winners.

Research award winners

A media literacy intervention to debunk out-of-context visual posts
Cindy Shen, Jingwen Zhang, Sijia Qian (University of California, Davis)

Blackout: Internet control and social inclusion in West Papua, Indonesia
Veronika Kusumaryati, Cyprianus Jehan Paju Dale (Georgetown University)

Digital literacy and social media UX of marginalized women/girls in Jordan
Karen Elizabeth Fisher, Ayat Nashwan (University of Washington)

Does WhatsApp increase polarization?
Avinash Collis (University of Texas at Austin)

Effects of digital restrictions on affective polarization in 6 countries
Yoshiko M. Herrera, Anton Shirikov, Mingcong Pan, Yiming Wang (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

How fact checkers compare: News trust and COVID-19 information quality
Andrea Carson, James Meese, Justin B. Phillips, Leah Ruppanner (La Trobe University)

Manufacturing hate: Social media and right-wing populism in Malaysia
Hew Wai Weng, Nicholas Chan, Wai Yeap (National University of Malaysia)

Measuring the impact of online disinformation in conflict zones
Brian McQuinn, Dorsa Nazemi-Salman, Laura Courchesne, Prof. Gordon Pennycook (University of Regina)

Measuring the impact of social influence on belief in misinformation
Dean Eckles, Jennifer Allen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Misinformation & vigilantism in India & Pakistan: Determinants & solutions
Dr. Niloufer Siddiqui, Simon Chauchard, Sumitra Badrinathan (University at Albany)

News diets & citizenship: A study combining web tracking data and surveys
Juhi Kulshrestha, Denis Bonnay, Marcos Oliveira, Sebastian Stier (University of Konstanz)

Over-time effects of indirect exposure to misinformation
Magdalena Wojcieszak, Chankyung (CK) Pak, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, Emma Hoes, Tomasz Gackowski (University of California, Davis)

Shutdown: Understanding the closure of social media space in West Africa
Jonathan Fisher, Idayat Hassan, Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham)

Social media prosecutions in MENA: Criminalizing content
Mai El-Sadany, Yasmin Omar (Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy)

Temporal dynamics of selective exposure and polarization
Eunji Kim, Jin Woo Kim (Vanderbilt University)

Testing fact and logic-based responses to polarizing climate misinformation
John Cook, Sojung Kim (Monash University)

Understanding the supply of and demand for media subjectivity
Leonardo Bursztyn, Aakaash Rao (University of Chicago)

Victimhood-based interventions to reduce extreme affective polarization
Rebecca Littman, Boaz Hameiri, Opeyemi Adeojo (Beyond Conflict)

Who is most vulnerable to persistent negative effects of misinformation?
Joseph W. Kable, Michael Cohen (University of Pennsylvania)

Visit the 2021 RFP on misinformation and polarization page for more information such as eligibility requirements and areas of interest. To learn more about last year’s RFP in misinformation and polarization, as well as our previous investments in the area, read the 2020 winner announcement blog.