Misinformation expert says she was fired by Harvard under Meta pressure

One of the world’s leading experts on misinformation says she was fired by Harvard University for criticising Meta at a time that the school was being pledged $500m from Mark Zuckerberg’s charity.

Joan Donovan says her funding was cut off, she could not hire assistants and she was made the target of a smear campaign by Harvard employees. In a legal filing with the US education department and the Massachusetts attorney general first published by the Washington Post, she said her right to free speech had been abrogated.

The controversial claims stem in part from Donovan’s publication of the Facebook papers, a bombshell leak of 22,000 pages of Facebook’s internal documents by the whistleblower Frances Haugen, who used to work at the company.