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Assistant Professors receive SHRCC Grant
Ahmed Al-Rawi and Sun-ha Hong from SFU School of Communication receive the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SHRCC) Insight Development Grant, totaling $111,569. This research grant encourages the development of new research questions and experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches, or ideas in social sciences and humanities. The fund supports both emerging scholars and established scholars across Canada with their short-term research projects of up to two years.
Over the next two years, Simon Fraser University will be focusing on the following two research projects, “Personal Truthmaking in the Data-driven Society: Deepfakes, smart machines and political disinformers” led by Sun-ha Hong and “Fake News perceptions and discourses on social media and Canadian mainstream media” by Ahmed Al-Rawi.
“Personal Truthmaking in the Data-driven Society: Deepfakes, smart machines and political disinformers”, Sun-ha Hong
In a matter of just several years, digital misinformation has become a prominent topic of discussion on a national and global levels. The risks around information, from fake news, smart machines to AI modified images and videos, challenge what we widely accept as truth and raise questions on how Canada will be involved with these problems in the next few years.
The research project led by Dr. Sun-ha Hong’s contributes to the ongoing conversation by taking a step back and examining our very definition of truth. How do we define truth and objectivity? Why do we trust machines and social media? How does disinformation and hate speech spread by online media presents itself as rational? The research project places the truthmaking discourse within the broader historical and philosophical contexts. The objective is to explore how our very fundamental ideas regarding truth were shaped, so that we can understand our present day standing with the most urgent technological issues.
“Fake News perceptions and discourses on social media and Canadian mainstream media”, Ahmed Al-Rawi
Fake news is prevalent in social media and Canadian mainstream media today. While all Canadians are interpreters of news, Canadian journalists are one of the primary voices in mass media today and they can influence public opinion on multiple subject matters. Ahmed Al-Rawi’s empirical research examines how Canadian journalists envision fake news and how those stories are presented through various media outlets. His research also helps to understand and provide evidence on how fake news discourses are associated with other global issues like climate change, immigration, and vaccinations.
The long term goal of Al-Rawi’s research is to establish a fact checking platform led by SFU undergraduate and graduate students to analyze stories circulated across Canada and to provide a solution for informative decision making in the future.