This briefing brings together the observations of a coalition of organisation who monitored the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections to identify distortion, disruption or interference campaigns and the technology companies response to them. You can read more about ISD's work monitoring the 2019 EU Elections in our interim report, published 24th May 2019.
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.
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.
Institut Montaigne and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue decided to look at the circulation of different narratives and pieces of disinformation in French discussion groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests
Following the murder of George Floyd and the protests it has catalysed across the globe, ISD examined Facebook’s ad library for signs of policy violations, in particular content that “exploits crises or controversial political or social issues for commercial purposes”
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.
This report offers an interim review of responses to the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’ from three major technology companies – Facebook, Google and Twitter – from March to May 2020. These platforms have been forced to mobilise at speed, trialling policies and enforcement approaches that can meet such a challenge.