ISD has developed a research methodology to identify, map and analyse online disinformation operations targeting elections and policy agendas, with a specific focus on investigating the complex relationship between foreign state and transnational non-state actors attempting to undermine democracy and promote polarisation inside and outside of elections.

ISD, in partnership with LSE Arena, have analysed malicious campaigns launched during the 2017 German Federal Election, 2018 Swedish Election and 2018 Bavarian State Election, combining cutting-edge social media analytics, broadcast media analysis and investigative journalism to build a comprehensive picture of malicious communications strategies.

ISD’s work surveys the wide range of disinformation tactics used to promote polarisation, to undermine elections and to threaten or discredit democratic discourse, including smear campaigns, distortive and deceptive media and the range of inorganic methods so often used to amplify and target this content to newly broad audiences.

ISD uses this research to provide timely and evidence-based data to media, policy and civil society representatives on the ground, enabling a rapid response to emerging threats and long-term trends in disinformation and malicious uses of social media to target democracies and democratic processes.