Knight Foundation invests $6 million in research on the future of US technology policy


Alliance magazine


Three nonprofit policy institutes will expand their research into the future of US technology policy, including potential approaches for regulating the tech sector, with $6 million in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The investments are part of Knight’s recent overarching $50 million commitment to support research on how technology is transforming democracy and the way in which people are informed in the digital age.

The new investment will support independent research on several issues at the forefront of national tech policy debates, including questions about the market concentration of major social media and digital services providers and growing concern about how those digital platforms manage content.

‘We’re in the middle of the largest debate of our time on how to enjoy the benefits of technology while mitigating the increasingly apparent costs,’ said Sam Gill, vice president for communities and impact at Knight Foundation. ‘Yet so far the discussion is more heat than light. These organisations combine an unflinching willingness to have an opinion with a deep commitment to evidence and independence.’

The three organisations receiving funding are The Center for Democracy & Technology, The Open Markets Institute – Center for Liberty and Journalism and the R Street Institute. The Center for Democracy & Technology  will receive $3 million to support research on the future of digital discourse, with a focus on how online platforms moderate content and how technology impacts democracy. The Open Markets Institute  have been awarded $2 million to research the impact of corporate concentration by internet companies on journalism and media, and how the negative effects of concentration might be addressed. R Street Institute will recive $1 million to study and explore a multi-stakeholder approach to the management of online content that balances concerns of consumers with those of corporations, and to improve the government’s technology policymaking.

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