The SSHRC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, has been involved in handing out more taxpayer money for the stated purpose of combatting “disinformation”. For the 2023 year, grants have been issued in the amount of $10,000 each, to various people.
Of course, this isn’t the first time such grants have been issued. It’s just the latest iteration of these initiatives.
The stated goals with the SSHRC are:
- promote Canadian research that will develop better understanding — based on empirical evidence — of the impacts of online disinformation in Canada in order to better inform programs and policies;
- build Canada’s capacity to conduct research on and related to countering online disinformation and other related online harms; and
- help foster a community of research in the digital citizenship and online disinformation space in Canada.
|Brown, Carol A.M.||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Chen, Yu-Chen||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Dowling, Erin Jennifer||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Farokhi, Zeinab||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Kennedy, Angel M.||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Lin, Hause||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Malo, Benjamin||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Martel, Marc-Antoine||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Miller, Mark D.||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Munro, Daniel||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Park, Jeong Hyun||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Rodrigues, Daniel||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
|Stijelja, Stefan||Jan 1, 2023||$10,000.00|
If nothing else, at least the grants and recipients are easy to find online. It’s always beneficial to know who’s on the Government payroll.
There is also a sub-group of this program, designed to partner with various colleges and universities to achieve what are essentially the same goals. These are the: (a) Insight Grant Supplements; (b) Postdoctoral Fellowship Supplements; and (c) Doctoral Award Supplements. Eligible areas include:
- Creators and propagators of online disinformation in a Canadian context.
- Digital techniques used to spread online disinformation in a Canadian context.
- Sectors of Canadian society more or less vulnerable to online disinformation, including how disinformation may specifically affect marginalized, minority and Indigenous communities.
- Effects of exposure to information and online disinformation on Canadians’ individual beliefs and behavior as well as overall mental health.
- Different impacts of online disinformation in Canada and on Canada, including on democratic institutions and elections.
- Government responses to online disinformation.
- Disinformation outside of the internet/not online in a Canadian context.
In short, grant money is available to those willing to research into ways of “combatting misinformation”. Plainly stated, this is anything the Government disagrees with.
While Ottawa may not be banning free speech (yet), they are working on ways to limit the scope and depth of what is being talked about.
As with everything, do your own fact checking.