This Dispatch examines the key narratives and mechanisms used by pro-Kremlin influencers and actors attempting to link the Buffalo shooter to the Azov Battalion.
This Dispatch explores how YouTube and its creators are profiting from livestreamed Super Chats promoting violence, conspiracies, misinformation and hate.
This Dispatch shares the findings of a recent ISD study into the videos YouTube recommends its young Australian male users, including anti-trans and misogynistic content.
The Kremlin disinformation playbook of denials, diversion and deflections has been used as atrocities emerge after Russia's month-long occupation of Bucha.
An Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory is Being Shared on Telegram to Justify Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
This Dispatch explores how the antisemitic “Khazarian Mafia” conspiracy theory is being directed at the war in Ukraine.
What can the Most Shared URLs on Social Media During the French Election Tell Us About Public Opinion of the Vote?
This analysis looks at the most shared links in online messages referring to the French presidential election, identifying the topics and trends that marked the electoral campaign.
Une défiance accrue envers les institutions et le système: Ce que nous disent les liens les plus partagés lors de la campagne présidentielle
Cette analyse s'intéresse aux liens les plus partagés dans des messages en ligne faisant référence à l'élection présidentielle afin d'identifier des sujets et tendances qui ont marqué la campagne électorale.
This Dispatch provides an overview of the online antisemitism threat landscape, which has increased in recent years, particularly since the pandemic.
Comment l’amplification de la rhétorique anti-système sur les réseaux sociaux favorise les positions extrêmes et affaiblit le barrage républicain
Dans le cadre des élections présidentielles françaises, l'ISD a observé que le sentiment anti-Macron était partagé en ligne de part et d'autre du spectre idéologique et politique.
La sur-mobilisation numérique des voix anti-système affaiblit le front républicain etappelle des mesures de régulation ambitieuses
Marquée par la crise sanitaire, la candidature Zemmour, et la guerre en Ukraine, la campagne électorale a vu la mobilisation accrue des identitaires et de la complosphère.
ISD has identified a small network of 33 Twitter accounts that appear to have been hijacked and used to spread pro-CCP (Chinese Communist Party) narratives. The network includes two accounts of European politicians.
Ahead of the French Election, Anti-Establishment Sentiment Overshadows Republican Efforts against the Far-Right Online
In the period surrounding the first-round of the French presidential vote, ISD observed the deployment of anti-establishment and right-wing extremist narratives against Macron’s government.
New ISD analysis of Facebook posts across 20 countries reveals that three weeks after the Bucha massacre, the most shared Facebook posts on the events are the ones questioning the legitimacy of it.
This Dispatch looks at the impact of the RT and Sputnik bans on French social media, including the response of online fringe communities and proxies.
La nouvelle étude de l'ISD s'intéresse au lancement de Gettr en France et Allemagne, le réseau social américain voulant attirer l'extrême droite européenne.
This Dispatch looks at the recent developments in digital policy, offering recommendations for platforms and governments responding to propaganda and disinformation.
ISD looks at how far-right channels, groups and pages on Telegram and Facebook have addressed the Russia-Ukraine War by looking at the narratives shared and domains amplified.
ISD has discovered Twitter accounts aligned with the Chinese Communist Party that appear to be inauthentic, spreading and amplifying disinformation about the war in Ukraine.
In the Midst of an Election, Hungarian State-Linked Media Pushes pro-Kremlin Narratives Surrounding the Invasion of Ukraine
This Dispatch looks at how Hungarian state-linked media is echoing and amplifying pro-Kremlin narratives, despite the country siding with Western allies’ efforts against Russia.
This Dispatch looks at the shift that appears to be underway in QAnon conspiracy communities as China's president Xi Jinping is recast from villain to hero.
This Dispatch looks at how both RT DE and its followers have circumvented restrictions, while RT DE’s following has grown on alternative platforms like Odysee and VK.com.
This Digital Dispatch analyses French and German activity on Gettr, the microblogging site aimed at far-right and conservative audiences.
This Dispatch analyses how hashtags are being used to facilitate the Soviet propaganda tactic 'whataboutism' to support and amplify pro-Kremlin content.
In this Dispatch, Elise Thomas explains why Western conspiracy communities on Telegram are promoting pro-Kremlin propaganda about the Russia-Ukraine war.
Pro-Kremlin hashtags on Twitter have the hallmarks of an influence operation masquerading as a grassroots social movement, but how can they help us detect future operations?
Support from the Conspiracy Corner: German-Language Disinformation about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on Telegram
Ukraine-related disinformation from Russian state-backed sources is spreading without restriction in German-Language Telegram channels and groups.
This Dispatch explores how Russian state-controlled or state-affiliated news organisations are using TikTok to spread misinformation and push Kremlin disinformation narratives.
This Digital Dispatch shares several trends that ISD analysts observed in German-language Facebook groups during the days prior to Russia’s invasion, and in the days immediately after it.
This Dispatch explores how COVID-19 misinformation and anti-vaccine bias are given the appearance of legitimacy through pre-print research papers that are widely spread online.
This Dispatch explores fake Facebook groups being run for profit from foreign countries that claim to be part of the 'Freedom Convoy' protest movement.
This Dispatch looks at German-language YouTube videos which are attracting hate speech against Jewish people in their comment sections.
In diesem Dispatch werden deutschsprachige YouTube-Videos analysiert, die besonders häufig antisemitische Kommentare anziehen.
Support for presidential candidate Eric Zemmour has amplified identitarian rhetoric in France, where identitarians are coordinating campaign support across online platforms.
ISD researchers outline their approach to applying toxicity analysis to Salafi online content and the development of automated toxicity detection tools.
An investigation by ISD analyses the distribution and sale of fake health passes on social networks (Facebook, Instagram and Telegram) in France.
In this Dispatch, we examine the international sources of funding and support for the trucker convoys taking place across Canada, as well as exploring other potential convoys in North America and Europe.
In this Dispatch, Elise Thomas looks at how the ‘Canberra Convoy’ raises interesting questions around analysing protest movements in the age of social media.
A new series from ISD deconstructs the surge of transnational anti-lockdown protest movements. It explores the long-term threat the movement poses and discusses the appropriate policy responses.
This Dispatch highlights North Macedonian's deeply divided digital space, where politics and ethnic based hate underscore polarising online narratives.
Les faux pass sanitaires se propagent facilement sur les réseaux sociaux malgré les politiques des plateformes
Une investigation de l’ISD analysant la diffusion et la vente de faux pass sanitaires sur les réseaux sociaux (Facebook, Instagram et Telegram) en France.
This Dispatch shares new ISD research that highlights how Twitter and Meta's hate speech policies aimed at protecting transgender people are poorly enforced and still suffer from gaps in implementation.
This report series explores how networks linked to individuals in Vietnam are using QAnon conspiracy theories and US political disinformation to generate revenue.
In this Dispatch, Elise Thomas looks at how Australia's anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown movements responded to the recent Djokovic saga.
This Dispatch explores how users who have been banned from platforms like Youtube and Twitter are able to freely promote and profit from their content on Substack.
As the Select Committee continues to excavate the mountain of evidence relating to the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, many have wondered why the rioters in the Capitol that day went to such lengths to document and broadcast their own crimes.
This Dispatch examines the specifics of Hungarian organisations most in connection with an international ultra-conservative network working to undermine women's and LGBTQ's sexual and reproductive health rights.
This Dispatch examines the global network of ultra-conservative organisations working to undermine the rights of sexual minorities and women, and the key actors in this network.
This Dispatch explains the concept of 'post-organisational' violent extremism and terrorism, and why tech companies, counter-terrorism practitioners and policymakers face challenges in how to respond to it.
This Dispatch examines the online threat landscape in Slovakia; one which appears increasingly hybridised as polarising and extreme content emanates from a broad spectrum of actors.
The left-wing 'Gunstagram’ is an emerging, US-based firearms community on Instagram. This dispatch looks at what has driven its growth.
Our recent project classifying YouTube comments in German seeks to contribute to research and public debate on natural language processing.
Anwendung eines Algorithmus zur Erkennung von deutschsprachigen antisemitischen Inhalten auf YouTube: Hintergrund und Methodik
Unser aktuelles Projekt zur Klassifizierung deutschsprachiger YouTube-Kommentare soll einen Beitrag zur Forschung und öffentlichen Debatte zu Natural Language Processing (NLP) leisten. Insbesondere soll es auf die mit dieser Methode verbundenen Lücken und die Notwendigkeit von manueller Überprüfung und Kontrolle aufmerksam machen.
In this ‘Online Extremism Index’ Dispatches, ISD analyses polarising content and hate speech online in Kenya ahead of the country’s 2022 general elections.
Despite being banned from Facebook, the pro-Russian disinformation outlet News Front has resumed many of its operations.
ISD researchers tracked posts about climate change produced by reliable sources on Facebook alongside posts produced by climate sceptic actors.
An overview of ISD’s pioneering new research which provides a digital snapshot of the rapidly shifting online Salafi ecosystem across social media and its intersection with Gen-Z identities.
Elise Thomas observes the move towards extremism amongst Australian and New Zealand anti-lockdown movements, explaining why referring to them simply as ‘far-right’ misses important pieces of the story.
Despite Facebook’s claims of continuous enforcement, it appears that some well-known actors are returning to the platform again and again using largely the same tactics.
ISD researchers investigate a set of unchecked videos and accounts that are promoting anti-vaccine tropes on YouTube - some of which have been on the platform for more than 15 years.
Tags, Flags & Banners: Evaluating the Application of Information Resources on Vaccine Content on TikTok
TikTok is failing to tag almost 60% of COVID-19 vaccine-related content on its platform, leaving users exposed to often unverified and harmful content.
ISD researchers monitoring misinformation analysed the rise of the 12 medical professionals spreading misinformation on Facebook.
New joint research from ISD and VU analyses the reciprocal nature of far-left and far-right activity on Twitter between 2016-2021.
Extremism, Hate and Disinformation: Exploiting the Afghanistan Crisis Ahead of the German Federal Elections
Following the withdrawal of NATO and Western troops from Afghanistan in mid-August, there has been a visible spike in German-language anti-migration discourse on social media.
A new ISD report details the growth of the 'climate lockdown' conspiracy narrative, which claims that government overreach will be enacted under the pretext of climate change to strip people of civil liberties.
New ISD research draws on analysis of white supremacist chats on the encrypted messaging application Telegram to explore the complex relationship white supremacists have with the military.
Elise Thomas explains why anti-vaccination literature is being pushed to the top of search results at many online book retailers, beating out evidence-based information.
ISD analysts monitored discussion on various online platforms in the lead up to the German federal election. This Dispatch outlines their findings.
Elise Thomas explains how websites play a central role in the digital presence of many extreme-right organisations and communities.
ISD is pioneering a series of efforts to further explore the intersection between gaming and extremism.
The Strong Cities Network's Beirut Office, Lama Awad, Ghida El-Assaad, and Nicolas Gholam, examine the country’s approach to P/CVE and the many challenges it now faces in light of recent events.
20 Years After 9/11: Why Cities Matter More than Ever When it Comes to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
With the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks upon us, Eric Rosand writes for the RESOLVE Network about the growing relevance of cities in preventing and countering violent extremism.
Conspiracy-focused anti-lockdown social media groups in Australia are experiencing a period of rapid growth, fuelled by widespread public health restrictions.
An overview of ISD's upcoming The Future of Extremism series: an ambitious programme of data-driven publications, thought-leading analysis and public events focused on the next generation of extremism challenges and responses.
ISD is one of over 50 co-signatories on an open letter calling upon EU policy-makers to amend the draft EU Digital Services Act to tackle disinformation head-on.
The explosive growth of digital technologies around the world is opening new potential domains for conflict.
This dispatch features an excerpt from 'Hatescape An In-Depth Analysis of Extremism and Hate Speech on TikTok', a new ISD report that aims to provide an in-depth analysis on the state of extremism and hate on TikTok.
As the German Federal Election draws closer, far-right actors in Germany are using the same tactics to undermine the vote as their counterparts across the Atlantic did in 2020.
The Institute for Economics and Peace's blog, Vision of Humanity, takes a look at the rise in right-wing violence and the challenges it presents to current counterterrorism efforts.
The 2019 Christchurch attacks stand as an instructive example of an increasingly international far-right. This Dispatch examines online extremism in New Zealand, drawing on ISD research conducted throughout 2020 which provides a data-driven snapshot of New Zealand’s online extremist ecosystem.
As part of the Strong Cities Network’s programme of ongoing research, ISD analysts mapped and analysed the online extremist landscape in Bangladesh. This Dispatch looks at their findings.
It has been a decade since the 2011 terror attacks in Oslo, considered by many to be a “turning point” in far right extremist mobilisation. This Dispatch outlines the ways in which the ideas, tactics and dynamics underpinning the attack have come to shape one of the most persistent and dangerous terror threats we are seeing today.
This Dispatch outlines seven of the key takeaways from a new ISD report that documents the findings of a study tracking the online ecosystems used by right-wing extremists in Canada in 2020.
ISD analysts identified a number of pro-CCP accounts spreading distorted research on Twitter, with the seeming intention being to lambast one of China’s oldest rivals: Japan. This dispatch outlines just how legitimate, pre-existing research can be manipulated and repackaged in furtherance of geopolitical goals.
Ciarán O'Connor writes about how TikTok Sounds are being used to create and popularise misleading and harmful COVID-19 related content on the platform, in particular discouraging people against getting vaccinated.
This dispatch highlights how, in Czechia and Slovakia, character assassination seems to be the most successful strategy used by those seeking to disrupt and polarise online debate on climate change.
This dispatch examines the most widely shared internet domains amongst online anti-vaccination communities in Germany. It illustrates the high level of influence Austrian and Swiss disinformation outlets appear to hold in the German-speaking online sphere of conspiracy narratives.
This article highlights the key findings from a new ISD research report that provides a snapshot of the different online communities involved in the promotion of hate and disinformation targeting refugees and the migration sector in 2020.
Climate Change Reporting in Hungary: The Evolving Nature of Messaging among Government-Affiliated Media and Pundits
In Hungary, government-affiliated media is critical in shaping public opinion. This dispatch looks at how national and local government-affiliated media outlets on Facebook have portrayed the issue of climate change over the past two years.
In Poland, climate change is largely absent from the online discussion around coal mining and the energy sector, which is instead dominated by economic and security arguments in favour of, and in opposition to, the coal industry. This dispatch highlights the key trends in such discussion, as well as the types of messaging different actors employ.
The social media uproar around the Turów mine dispute illustrates how Eurosceptic beliefs and suspicions about Germany were weaponised in attempt to drive polarisation and delay climate action in Poland.
The social media debate around a new climate communications project by German broadcaster WDR provides a useful case study that illustrates how climate communication efforts by public broadcasters are received - especially in the lead up to an election.
An investigation by ISD suggests a shift in seemingly coordinated pro-CCP network tactics - one involving real, genuine human Twitter influencers acting as advocates for pro-CCP narratives.
New ISD research presents a data-driven snapshot of the proliferation of COVID-19-related online antisemitic content in French and German on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram.
This Dispatch looks at the links between the largest online archive of Islamic State materials and a real-world IS case. It raises a set of policy considerations for managing online contingents of movements like the Islamic State and disrupting the creation and management of such archives.
New analysis by ISD and CTC focuses on Islamic State-affiliated content stored on digital archives, and the method of creating hubs of information to preserve such materials. Such research reveals one small part of the movement’s ongoing efforts to document its path to stay relevant in the future.
New analysis by researchers at ISD and the Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities at Victoria University analyses the interplay between far-right and far-left groups in the state of Victoria, Australia on the alt-tech social networking platform Gab.
In the online world, conspiracies and misinformation are often used to downplay the severity of the coronavirus, undermine efforts to tackle its spread and promote anxieties about the vaccine. This briefing examines how Dutch communities on Facebook promoted COVID-19 vaccine misinformation throughout April.
Part II of 'Climate is the New Front in the Culture Wars' highlights an entirely different way in which green politics can be appropriated by extremists - to advance a nationalist view around the sacredness of land.
The far right has stoked up fear of immigration, elites, and multiculturalism. Now, extremists are turning their attention online to the alleged threat of the green agenda – with an eye to discrediting COP-26.
The Institute for Economics and Peace take a look at some changes in Positive Peace over the last decade.
The role of algorithms in boosting conspiracy theories and radicalisation has been brought into sharp focus over the past year. Using Amazon’s book sales platform, Elise Thomas illustrates how such problems with algorithmic recommendation extend far beyond social media platforms.
ISD analysts conducted a network analysis of the clusters of Twitter accounts driving climate-related debate during the German state elections. This article reveals their findings.
As part of their ongoing monitoring of hateful speech in France, ISD researchers analysed anti-Muslim discussion in France on Twitter and Facebook. This Dispatch outlines their findings and points to the need for an intersectional analysis of anti-Muslim discourse.
New research by ISD examines how Telegram has evolved among far-right groups and supporters in Ireland, moving from a fringe platform to become one of the main online spaces used by the far-right.
Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines are rampant across Arabic-language Facebook entities. Recent analysis by ISD has found connections to dominant COVID-19 vaccine misinformation narratives and influencers tied to the Middle East and North Africa's geo-politics.
Ahead of the German state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz, ISD analysts examined climate-related discussion on social media. The goal was to interrogate how social media drives climate-related debate during an election period,.
A brief look at some of the defining numbers of Syrian civil war by the The Institute for Economics and Peace.
This article looks at the key topics of discussion within a network of anti-climate change communities on Facebook and Twitter in the UK from 25 February 2021- 3 March 2021.
For International Women’s Day, we look at how the implications of online gender-based abuse and disinformation threaten gender equality in a post-COVID world.
In Canada, protests against COVID-19 restrictions fuelled by conspiracies and misinformation have generated anger and hostility. This briefing takes a closer look at Canadian communities who were promoting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation throughout February.
Elise Thomas discusses how Facebook’s decision to block Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on the platform created a short-lived experiment as to what happens to disinformation and conspiracy theories in the absence of journalism on social media platforms.
This Dispatches post examines how the "Great Reset" conspiracy is growing among online communities in the Netherlands, and how the leader of a Dutch right-wing populist party has played a key role in mainstreaming it.
In recent months, clashes at anti-lockdown protests have shown how online vitriol can lead to offline violence. We take a look at the nature of some of this online vitriol in Ireland throughout January - and find that Irish COVID-19 vaccine misinformation communities on Facebook are on the rise.
The same social media tools being used to inform the public about COVID-19 vaccinations are also being used to misinform people on a massive scale. Throughout 2021, Digital Dispatches will examine key COVID-19 vaccine misinformation themes in different countries.
A new case study by ISD provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the broader disinformation ecosystem and sheds light on the long tail of state-linked online assets.
Cécile Guerin writes about how the lines between the two sides of her life - as a researcher at ISD and a yoga teacher in her spare time - have become increasingly blurred over the past year.
As critically important vaccination programs roll out in countries around the world, it is imperative that we think about mitigating the potential security risks posed by conspiracy theorists to vaccination sites.
This is the final piece of a three-part Digital Dispatches series that looks back at how a year of online extremist mobilisation precipitated a violent assault on the heart of American democracy on January 6 2021.
This is the second in a three-part Digital Dispatches series that looks back at how a year of online extremist mobilisation precipitated a violent assault on the heart of American democracy on January 6 2021.
This is the first in a three-part Digital Dispatches series that looks back at how a year of online extremist mobilisation precipitated a violent assault on the heart of American democracy on January 6 2021.
Donald Trump’s use of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric as a means through which to govern and campaign is longstanding, but it arguably reached its apex with his 2020 re-election bid – the consequences of which are both severe and growing.
The importance of pushing back against misleading and false narratives in their early stages was made clear in the midst of the 2020 US presidential election, when efforts to debunk mainstreamed voter fraud narratives instead ran the risk of amplifying the narratives further.
New research by ISD tracks far-right narratives from the US, France and Germany, looking at how such narratives gain traction in domestic mainstream media and exploring if and how narratives move from the far-right’s online media ecosystem to different geographical and political contexts.
How do the far-right and far-left discuss each other on Facebook? How do narratives about the other side of the political spectrum shape the online activity of these groups? An analysis of the far-right and far-left Facebook ecosystem in Australia looks at how central discussion of the ‘other side’ is to each movement.
The Western Balkans faces twin challenges from online extremism where international extremist narratives target the region through online platforms while its histories and geopolitics are appropriated to justify extremist actions and narratives around the world.
When Donald Trump retweeted a post claiming that Dominion Voting Systems had partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to deliberately switch ballots intended for Trump to Joe Biden, a narrative of election rigging began that would spread online, and which will likely resurface again.
A tweet baselessly claimed that Dominion Voting Systems had partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to switch ballots intended for Trump to Joe Biden. It was the peak of a narrative combining technology and corruption concerns with the need to explain Trump’s increasingly apparent election defeat.
ISIS continues to deploy social media recruitment strategies when opportunities arise. In an effort to understand each social media platform’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of striking terrorist content off their platforms, ISD timed platforms' takedowns of content egregiously violating their policies.
On 31 May 2020, President Trump tweeted that the far-left network Antifa would be designated a “Terrorist Organization.” ISD researchers monitored the reactions to Trump’s tweet by far-right actors online.
ISD researchers conducted a long-term analysis of conversations around the loose network of far-left organisations known as Antifa between January 2019 and June 2020.
In Part I, we looked at how the Proud Boys online presence reacted to the sudden and widespread exposure that the group received following Trump’s mention of them in the first US Presidential debate. Now, we look at the narratives and methods used in their responses.
Mainstream social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly active in removing extremist content from their platforms. But what happens when a major figure such as the US President mentions a hate group in a Presidential debate?
In early June, troll groups on 4chan staged a series of online raids against Black Lives Matter activists on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, ultimately stifling their ability to coordinate activities.
ISD found that conspiratorial narratives on Facebook and Twitter about billionaire philanthropist George Soros rose in tandem with the George Floyd protests that strafed the US in May.
In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests, a video emerged and a false narrative took hold: an innocent man had been beaten - some said to death - for defending his business.
Simple techniques such as alternative hashtag spellings can circumvent TikTok's measures to combat the spread of QAnon content. TikTok must do more to combat the problem – and urgently.