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The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory

This briefing paper provides an overview of the key trends in activity around the QAnon conspiracy theory from 2017 to 2020. Crucially it points to major spikes in QAnon activity in March 2020, suggesting both an increase in activity to promote the conspiracy theory and the spread of this conspiracy to new audiences.

The Propaganda Pipeline: The ISIS Fuouaris Upload Network on Facebook

This new investigation from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) delves into the inner workings of a pro-ISIS account network on Facebook, providing a case study of the resilient network dynamics, technological loopholes, and cross-platform activity that allowed a web of accounts to survive and flourish for over three months on a platform which purports to be a hostile environment for terrorist actors.

A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram

For this research, ISD’s digital analysis unit have been monitoring a network of 208 channels distributing white supremacist content on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram. In an analysis of over a million posts, this briefing unpacks how the platform is being used to glorify terrorism, call for violence, spread extremist ideological material and demonise minority groups.

Anatomy of a Disinformation Empire: Investigating NaturalNews

This report presents the findings of an extensive investigation into a network of domains connected to NaturalNews, a US-based commercial enterprise and website promoting conspiracy theories and disinformation. This investigation shines a light on the endurance of coordinated disinformation networks on and off social media platforms, as well as the challenges for and remaining limitations of technological companies’ responses to such threats.

An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada

ISD researchers have assessed the scale of Canadian right-wing extremist activity across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, 4chan, Gab, Fascist Forge and Iron March. Over the next year we will analyse extremism on these platforms in more detail, and incorporate additional digital forums into our study. This represents one of the most comprehensive efforts to date to assess the scale of right-wing extremist activity online in Canada.

COVID-19 Disinformation Briefing No.4.

Multiple states across the US are launching or scaling up mass contact tracing campaigns as part of their preparations to reopen society. On 1 May, the H.R.6666 – COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) bill was introduced to Congress by Representative Bobby Rush.