Social Media Lab will receive $500,000+ from the larger grant to hire additional personnel to study the impact of mis- and disinformation about immigrants and immigration policies broadly.
Millions of individuals from around the world have chosen Canada as their new home over the years. As of 2021, over 8.3 million people, or close to one-quarter (23.0%) of the population are landed immigrants or permanent residents in Canada. This was the highest among the G7 countries and surpasses the previous record of 22.3% set in 1921.
To help better understand the needs and challenges of newcomers and to help integrate immigrants into Canadian society and the Canadian economy, the government of Canada has awarded Toronto Metropolitan University $98.6 million in funding through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) to support transformational migrant integration research.
The initiative, Migrant Integration in the Mid-21st Century: Bridging Divides, led by Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) will bring together partners from other universities including Concordia University, the University of Alberta and The University of British Columbia. It will build the partners’ research expertise and will bring that expertise to bear on issues important to immigrant success, including community health, housing, technology adoption, and the future of work. The Scientific Directorships for this pan-Canadian effort will be helmed by Professor Anna Triandafyllidou, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, and Professor Ebrahim Bagheri, the Canada Research Chair in Social Information Retrieval
The Social Media Lab will receive $500,000+ from the larger grant to hire additional personnel to study the impact of mis- and disinformation about immigrants and immigration policies broadly. The projects at the Lab will be led by Professor Anatoliy Gruzd, Canada Research Chair in Privacy Preserving Digital Technologies and Philip Mai, Researcher and Director of Business and Communications at the Social Media Lab at the Ted Rogers School of Management.
One of their initial projects in this initiative is to examine how online anti-social behavior may influence societal attitudes and public discourse around refugees as well as key actors who are either targets or instigators of toxic anti-refugee posts on social media. By identifying and understanding these anti-refugee narratives, we hope to contribute to the development of strategies to counter anti-refugee disinformation and promote more informed discussions around the refugee crisis in the future.
For more information about Bridging Divides is available at the University’s Research and Innovation website.