About NCRI

The Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) is a neutral and independent third party whose mission it is to track, expose, and combat misinformation, deception, manipulation, and hate across social media channels.

Acting as a public benefit corporation, NCRI is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to explore safe ways to audit, reveal challenges, devise solutions, and create transparency in partnerships with social media platforms, public safety organizations, and government agencies. 

Since NCRI has no political agenda, profit motive, or university reporting obligations, the Institute is well positioned to manage confidentiality in sensitive relationships. NCRI seeks to innovate exacting internal standards of objectivity, data security, and strict legal compliance. NCRI bears strong incentives to develop the highest level of trust and confidentiality – while working hard to protect the clinical alliances with our partners – since the viability of our model, our reputation, and our mission is at stake in that trust.

Our Team

Joel Finkelstein, Cofounder
Joel Finkelstein is the co-founder of the Network Contagion Research Institute. A visiting fellow at the James Madison Program at Princeton University, Joel also holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton, where his award-winning doctoral work focused on the psychology and neuroscience of addiction and social behavior. Joel is an active and well-known strategic resource to media outlets, policy makers, advocacy groups, as well as investigators to help turn tools for social science into tools for social justice. His work on hate and deceit in social media has appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR and other media outlets.

Alex Goldenberg, Lead Intelligence Analyst
Alex is the Lead Intelligence Analyst at the Network Contagion Research Institute, focusing on misinformation, disinformation, online extremism, and the intersection of technology and hate. Alex has an MS in Global Affairs with a concentration in Transnational Security from New York University. His recent research has appeared in NBC News, The Atlantic, The Brookings Institute, NPR, Forbes, Vice News, and other notable media outlets.

Savvas Zannettou Ph.D, NCRI Fellow
Savvas has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cyprus University of Technology, where in 2014 and 2016 he received his BS and MS degrees, respectively, in Computer Engineering. During that time, Savvas spent six months as a Research Intern at NEC Labs Europe where he worked on Software-Defined Networks. Over the course of 2017 and 2018, he spent 12 months as a Research Intern at Telefonica Research. Savvas’ most recent research applies machine learning and data-driven quantitative analysis to understand emerging phenomena on the Web such as the spread of false information and hateful rhetoric.


You first need to understand intolerance in order to develop cures for it. This project is designed to do that—researching how hate grows and spreads by applying science rather than anecdotes and politics.

The diverse collection of supporters may disagree on the ways to address intolerance but all are committed to finding solutions and having those solutions rooted in science.