Indiana University has announced a $6 million research center to study the role of media and technology in society. The university says the Observatory on Social Media will offer students, journalists and citizens training to identify misinformation.

Major funding for the project comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a nonprofit focused on developing informed and engaged communities. The Knight Foundation will contribute $3 million to the project. Funds from the university will also support the endeavor.

"This observatory will investigate important questions at the intersection of media and technology," said Filippo Menczer, a professor in the IU School Informatics, Computing and Engineering, who will serve as the center’s director. "By joining together experts in journalism and data science, we will be able to not only identify the most significant questions about how information and technology can be manipulated to weaken democracy, but also design and build the sophisticated tools required to attack these questions."

The center is a collaboration between the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, The Media School and the IU Network Science Institute.