The 101 of Disinformation Detection

Published: 13thAugust 2020
Authors: Carl Miller and Chloe Colliver

Not every organisation can or should become a disinformation detective. But disinformation can threaten the activities, objectives and individuals associated with civil society groups and their work. Disinformation tactics and the responses in place to try to mitigate them online are changing rapidly. Organisations witnessing or targeted by disinformation therefore require a baseline understanding of the threats posed by disinformation and how to spot them while conducting their work. This toolkit sets out simple steps to do so.

The toolkit lays out an approach that organisations can undertake to begin to track online disinformation on subjects that they care about. The process is intended to have a very low barrier to entry, with each stage achievable using either over-the-counter or free-to-use social listening tools. For a deeper explanation of the methods, teams and skills required to build a disinformation detection system, see ISD’s accompanying roadmap for the disinformation research sector: ‘Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation’.

Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media

This briefing paper examines the extent to which Holocaust denial content is readily accessible across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. This paper also demonstrates how appropriately applied content moderation policies can be effective in denying dangerous conspiracy theorists a public platform by examining how Holocaust denial content has decreased significantly in the past year on YouTube.

Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation

This document presents a vision for a pan-civil societal response to online manipulation. In part, it argues, this will come down to capability: building a pooled detection capacity to function as a transparent, public interest alter­native to those built by the tech giants. In part, it will require new organisational philosophies and forms of co-operation, and in part new approaches to funding and support.