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Click Here For Outrage: Disinformation in the European Parliamentary Elections 2019

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.

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.

The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory

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.

The Propaganda Pipeline: The ISIS Fuouaris Upload Network on Facebook

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.

A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram

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.

Anatomy of a Disinformation Empire: Investigating NaturalNews

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.