The Stanford Internet Observatory is being dismantled – EVOL

House Republicans attacked the lab’s reports on misinformation and election integrity — and now Stanford is pulling the plug

Stanford University (Santonii / Unsplash)

After five years of pioneering research into the abuse of social platforms, the Stanford Internet Observatory is winding down. Its founding director, Alex Stamos, left his position in November. Renee DiResta, its research director, left last week after her contract was not renewed. One other staff member’s contract expired this month, while others have been told to look for jobs elsewhere, sources say. 

Some members of the eight-person team might find other jobs at Stanford, and it’s possible that the university will retain the Stanford Internet Observatory branding, according to sources familiar with the matter. But the lab will not conduct research into the 2024 election or other elections in the future.

The shutdown comes amid a sustained and increasingly successful campaign among Republicans to discredit research institutions and discourage academics from investigating political speech and influence campaigns. 

SIO and its researchers have been sued three times by conservative groups alleging that its researchers colluded illegally with the federal government to censor speech,

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