A Call for Ideas Seeks Solutions to Curb the Spread of Misinformation

Funding Agency:
Rita Allen Foundation

What makes misinformation such an urgent problem today is its ability to spread rapidly and pervasively, via social media, online publishing and the 24-hour news cycle. Misinformation goes viral fast—false stories spread significantly farther, faster and deeper than true stories in social media, according to new research. Much attention has been paid to the volume and sources of misinformation, but less well explored are the human behaviors, motivations and decisions that drive the sharing of misinformation.

Today, the Rita Allen Foundation and RTI International are launching a call for ideasto curb the spread of misinformation. The call seeks interventions focused on reducing behaviors that lead to the spread of misinformation or encouraging behaviors that can lead to the minimization of its influence. Proposals for interventions with technological, educational and/or community-based components are encouraged, and projects involving science communication, public health and diverse populations are of special interest.

Up to five ideas will be selected to be featured in the Misinformation Solutions Forum, October 4, 2018, at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. At the forum, the ideas will be further developed with input from academic researchers, technologists, data scientists, journalists, educators, community leaders and funders. To catalyze further development and deployment of solutions, as part of the forum two of the participating teams will be selected to receive Misinformation Solution Prizes, with a top prize of $50,000 and an additional prize of $25,000.

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Ideas should be submitted by teams of at least two people with skills, expertise, experiences and networks that can help their solution take shape and reach key audiences. We welcome submissions from a wide array of innovators, including academic researchers, communication and technology professionals, journalists, health professionals, community leaders, advertisers and educators. Ideas can include plans for primary research, but the research should be designed in collaboration with someone (e.g., a government official, technology professional, or community leader) in the position to put findings into action. Teams must designate a sponsoring U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization able to receive and manage grants on behalf of the team (note that the sponsoring nonprofit is considered the official entrant). All team members and their sponsoring nonprofit organizations should be comfortable with names and professional affiliations being made public if they are selected for forum participation.

 While we welcome ideas bringing in an international perspective, to be eligible teams must have a sponsoring U.S.-based nonprofit organization that may receive grant funds. Teams may not include individuals who are currently or formerly employed by the Rita Allen Foundation, RTI International, the Aspen Institute, Democracy Fund or Craig Newmark Philanthropies; are officers or members of their boards; or who have a family member with one of these affiliations.

Funding Type





Arts & Humanities
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

May 31, 2018