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. In this weeks' COVID-19 Vaccination Misinformation Monitor, we take a look at the nature of some of this online vitriol. We focus on Irish COVID-19 vaccine misinformation communities on Facebook - and find they 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. The aim was to understand how far-right actors respond to such events.
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. With a few event-driven exceptions, online discussion was generally low leading up to the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 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.
Digital Dispatches is the place to come for cutting-edge analysis that might otherwise fall between our in-depth research publications, our weekly Lens on Hate trend briefings, or our commentary in the press.