This report details the findings of ISD’s research on disinformation activities during the European Parliamentary Elections in 2019. It lays out the tactics and actors involved in covert disinformation campaigns, the targets of their activities, and what that might mean for the future of disinformation around elections and beyond.
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.
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.
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.
These platforms have been forced to mobilise at speed, trialling policies and enforcement approaches that can meet such a challenge. The briefing summarises the approaches taken by respective teams at Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google and YouTube, including specific services and policies introduced in recent months and, where possible, the accompanying rationale from companies themselves.
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.
A letter from our CEO on what we are doing as an organisation, and as individuals, to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
This is the second in a series of briefings from ISD’s Digital Research Unit on the information ecosystem around COVID-19. This first briefing compiles research from ISD’s own analysis of online platforms, as well as summarising recent investigations and research on the state of play of disinformation around COVID-19.
Algorithms play a central role in social media platforms – and may contribute to systemic, structural challenges to democracy and human rights. As identified in the White Paper, through their decisions around the design of algorithms, the platforms have a significant impact on citizens’ rights to information and free expression, our rights not to be discriminated against or abused, and core democratic values.
This is the second in a series of briefings from ISD’s Digital Research Unit on the information ecosystem around coronavirus (COVID-19). This briefing focuses on the way far-right groups and individuals are mobilising around COVID-19 in the US. The first briefing in the series can be found on ISD’s website.