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Support My Mission to Build a Healthier Social Internet

Authors: swapneel

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My name is Swapneel. I'm currently working on my Ph.D. at NYU, with my research primarily focused on the intriguing yet concerning world of online disinformation. You know how it is; we live in a time where polarization seems to be the norm, especially if you take a quick scroll through social media.

Now, more than ever, we're seeing how this divide is growing wider, partly due to the role of content recommendation algorithms. Their aim? To maximize engagement. The unintended consequence? They indirectly, and at times directly, contribute to increasing divisiveness in our digital conversations. It's a real issue, and it's one I'm committed to addressing.

Over at One Fact, I'm part of a team that's dedicated to constructing responsible AI tools that can help create a healthier social internet. It's a challenging mission, but one we're passionate about. We've formed a collective of students, a team we fondly call SimPPL (pronounced 'sim-people'), and our objective is simple yet ambitious: we simulate the spread of information. Why? So that we can anticipate potential online harms and create safeguards to prevent them.

We're not alone in our mission. We've been privileged to collaborate with esteemed journalists from The Sunday Times and Deutsche Welle Akademie. We've also been recognized for our efforts, receiving both a Wikimedia grant award and a Google Research award. But our work is far from done.

Our goal is to continue our efforts in combating disinformation, supporting marginalized communities in the global south, and improving transparency and accountability on the social web. To do this, we need your support. With your help, we can continue to make the internet a safer, more inclusive space for all.

Thank you for your time and for considering supporting our mission. I look forward to sharing our progress with you.