House Committee Demands Answers on Truthy Project
Taxpayer-funded initiative collected 600,000 political tweets in its ‘database,’ bragged about having conservative Twitter accounts suspended
“The Committee and taxpayers deserve to know how NSF decided to award a large grant for a project that proposed to develop standards for online political speech and to apply those standards through development of a website that targeted conservative political comments,” wrote Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas) in a letter to NSF Director France Cordova.
“While some have argued that Truthy could be used to better understand things like disaster communication or to assist law enforcement, instead it appears Truthy focused on examples of ‘false and misleading ideas, hate speech, and subversive propaganda’ communicated by conservative groups,” he said.
Updated: What does it take to get your grant targeted by Congress?
Last week, a second congressional panel also singled out Bushman’s work. But instead of making Bushman the star witness at a hearing, Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the chair of the House science committee, subjected him to ridicule. To be precise, Smith put a 2010 NSF grant to Bushman for research on self-control of aggression on a list of 11 NSF awards that Smith regards as a waste of taxpayer dollars. The new cohort of grants, going back as far as 5 years, join 47 others that the science committee has flagged in a running dispute with NSF over how it manages its $7-billion-a-year budget.
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