Hello! My name is Jade Collins and I’m thrilled to be joining the NDI DemTech team as a Project Assistant.
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have been immersed in an environment that fosters technology-driven innovation. This part of my identity, combined with my multicultural upbringing, influenced my professional trajectory towards technology and international relations. I have since gained firsthand experience in the use of digital technology for enabling inclusive, transparent, and democratic dialogues as well as open access to information.
Through my experiences at the UN Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization and Facebook I witnessed technology as both a vehicle of empowerment and, contrastingly, as a tool to promote violence and disinformation. At UNESCO I participated in the Small Island Developing States’ group meetings to facilitate the approval of e-learning educational development goals for under-resourced islands. International cooperation to enable Internet access in these communities held the potential to increase their economic participation and connect them with their compatriots and regional neighbors.
More recently, during my time as a content curator and analyst at Facebook, I observed how democratic values can be undermined and challenged online everyday. In preparation for the US 2020 elections I helped set up an internal volunteer program to monitor and flag violating content to make Facebook and Instagram safer social media platforms. Voting-related disinformation, hate speech against women politicians and calls for violence were the three main violations that I encountered and helped identify through social media monitoring on CrowdTangle.
To this end, I am focusing my current graduate studies at the Fletcher School on technology policy and international law, by exploring the mechanisms of digital manipulation and how democracies can prevent destabilization through political disenfranchisement and disinformation.
At NDI, I am excited to help promote information integrity and best practices to combat disinformation and malicious behavior in the digital world.
In my free time, I enjoy hiking in the great outdoors, practicing yoga in the park, baking desserts for friends and family, and going to museums.