[Air-L] Research Position for New Twitter Anti-Hate Project

Susan Benesch sbenesch at cyber.law.harvard.edu
Wed Nov 19 16:27:04 PST 2014

Research Position: New Project on Anti-Hatred Tweets

The Dangerous Speech Project <http://www.voicesthatpoison.org> works to
find and test pro-speech methods for diminishing harmful speech - or its
effects. It is directed by Prof. Susan Benesch
<http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/sbenesch> of American University and the
Berkman <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheon/2014/03/benesch>

The successful candidate will work on a new two-year project to identify,
collect, and analyze the effect of ‘counterspeech’ (speech rebutting
hateful, hostile, or harmful Tweets), in collaboration with Prof. Derek
Ruths <http://www.derekruths.com/> of McGill University, who directs
the Network
Dynamics Lab <http://networkdynamics.org/> there.

The researcher will perform systematic content analysis to map hateful
Tweets and responses to them, using both qualitative textual analysis and
quantitative content and conversation analysis. Much of this work will be
done in close collaboration with a computer science graduate student who
will be responsible for the development of automated detection and
filtering tools. The successful candidate will be comfortable working
closely with computational researchers, and with large datasets collected
from online social platforms. Familiarity with data analysis tools (e.g.
Excel, R, Python) and some knowledge of statistics are welcome but not

This position is ideal for junior scholars in Master's or PhD programs in
Communication, Media Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Information Studies,
and related fields who want to develop and hone their research skills.
Candidates must be comfortable establishing research direction, asking
questions, managing time, and pursuing the work with limited supervision.
Strong skills in writing, organization, and academic research are
essential. There may be opportunities for co-authorship of papers in
peer-reviewed journals and presentations of findings at relevant

The researcher will be paid $15-25 hourly, depending on qualifications,
with flexible hours and no residency requirement. It may require occasional
travel for 2-4 days, to meetings with project staff and academic
conferences, with expenses paid by the project, which is funded through

To apply, please send an email to  sbenesch at cyber.law.harvard.edu

with the subject “RA Application” and include the following:

– CV or resume

– Writing sample (preferably a literature review or scholarly article)

– Links to online presence (e.g., blog, homepage, Twitter etc.)

– The names and email addresses of two employers or professors who we may
contact as references

– A cover letter that includes citizenship/legal residency status, number
of hours available to work per week, current city of residence, available
start date, current student status, and any other practical consideration
that may be important for us to know

We are committed to diversity in our team and strongly encourage people of
color, of diverse gender identities, women, and LGBTQIA persons to apply.

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