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’.

The Long Tail of Influence Operations: A Case Study on News Front

This case study examines two websites and two blogging accounts which appear to be linked to News Front, a Crimean-based news organisation previously accused of being a source of pro-Kremlin disinformation and influence operations. While the impact of the site’s activity is low, the case study provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the broader disinformation ecosystem and sheds light on the long tail of state-linked online assets.