• AI & EXTREMISMSix Pressing Questions We Must Ask About Generative AI

    The past twenty-five years have demonstrated that waiting until after harms occur to implement internet safeguards fails to protect users. The emergence of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) lends an unprecedented urgency to these concerns as this technology outpaces what regulations we have in place to keep the internet safe.

  • EXTREMISMResearch Shows How Terrorism Affects Our Language and Voting Patterns

    Following the series of terrorist attacks between 2015 and 2017, German twitter users shifted their language towards that of the far right AfD party. Eventually voters rewarded the party at the 2017 election.

  • CHINA WATCHCCP’s Increasingly Sophisticated Cyber-enabled Influence Operation

    By Albert Zhang

    Last week DOJ announced police officers from China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) created thousands of fake online personas on social media sites to target Chinese dissidents through online harassment and threats. The announcement marked the first definitive public attribution to a specific Chinese government agency of covert malign activities on social media. The MPS, however, is one of many party-controlled organizations that analysts have long suspected of conducting covert and coercive operations to influence users on social media.

  • ELECTION INTEGRITYThe 2020 Election Saw Fewer People Clicking on Misinformation Websites: Study

    By Melissa De Witte

    Stanford scholars find a smaller percentage of Americans visited unreliable websites in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. election than in 2016 – which suggests mitigation and education efforts to identify misinformation are working.

  • CYBERSECURITYBanning TikTok Could Weaken Personal Cybersecurity

    By Robert Olson

    TikTok is not be the first app to be scrutinized over the potential exposure of U.S. user data, but it is the first widely used app that the U.S. government has proposed banning over privacy and security concerns. As a cybersecurity researcher, I see potential risks if the U.S. attempts to ban TikTok. The type of risk depends on the type of ban.

  • EXTREMISMAnti-Zionism as Antisemitism: How Anti-Zionist Language from the Left and Right Vilifies Jews

    Seven decades after Israel’s founding, some criticism of the country continues to promote age-old antisemitic tropes. Even before Israel was founded, conversations about the Zionist movement and the creation of the State of Israel at times included explicit anti-Jewish animus or espoused ideas historically wielded against Jewish communities. Today, many anti-Zionist activists continue to perpetuate this language.

  • EXTREMISMStudy Links Hard-Right Social Media with Incidents of Civil Unrest

    An increase in social media activity on “hard-right” platforms — those that purport to represent viewpoints not welcome on “mainstream” platforms — contributes to rightwing civil unrest in the United States, according to a new study. A new Yale-led study finds evidence that social media activity on hard-right platforms contributes to political unrest offline. “The magnitude of the effect we found is modest but two characteristics of social media and civil unrest caution against dismissing it,” said Yale sociologist Daniel Karell.

  • AGENTS OF INFLUENCEDemocracies Must Regulate Digital Agents of Influence

    By Justin Bassi

    It would be a mistake to limit the public policy debate to traditional state-on-state espionage or major power rivalry. Such platforms and the advent of the eerily relatable artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT are society-changing technologies that cannot be dismissed as benign or treated as a public good closed to any regulatory or governance process.

  • INTERNET CONTROLChina and Russia Sharing Tactics on Internet Control, Censorship

    By Daniil Belovodyev Andrei Soshnikov Reid Standish

    Beijing and Moscow have been sharing methods and tactics for monitoring dissent and controlling the Internet. For a few years now. The two countries have been deepening their ties for the past decade, and controlling the flow of information online has been a focal point of that cooperation since 2013. Since then, that cooperation expanded through a number of agreements and high-level meetings in China and Russia between top officials driven by a shared vision for a tightly controlled Internet.

  • ARGUMENT: RUSSIA’S DISINFORMATIONHow Russia Turned America’s Helping Hand to Ukraine into a Vast Lie

    Russia’s sustained disinformation campaign about a fictional U.S. bioweapons program in Ukraine is an example of how, “In a world that connects billions of people at a flash, the truth may have only a fighting chance against organized lying,” the Washington Post writes. “Disinformation is not just “fake news” or propaganda but an insidious contamination of the world’s conversations. And it is exploding.”

  • EXTREMISMAntisemitism, False Information, and Hate Speech Find a Home on Substack

    Substack continues to attract extremists and conspiracy theorists who routinely use the site to profit from spreading antisemitism, misinformation, disinformation and hate speech. Platforms with more lenient content moderation policies, like Substack, provide fertile ground for the spread of hateful rhetoric and false information – a known catalyst for offline harm and violence.

  • CHINA WATCHChina Accused of Meddling in Canada’s Elections

    By Craig McCulloch

    Allegations are mounting that China may have interfered in Canada’s most recent federal elections to favor Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party. Chinese information campaign appeared to have influenced votes in districts with large ethnic Chinese population.

  • EXTREMISMEducation and Awareness Are Key to Stopping Online Radicalization

    By William Frangia

    The current battlefield for terrorism is not a faraway country but the computers and phones right next to us. Terrorists have taken advantage of this technology to allow conflict to transcend its geographic borders. They know that reaching one sympathetic viewer can create catastrophic consequences in support of their agenda. The social network is now an environment where everyone is vulnerable to encountering propaganda or misinformation online, making everyone susceptible to radicalization.

  • EXTREMISMHard-Right Social Media Activities Lead to Civil Unrest: Study

    Does activity on hard-right social media lead to civil unrest? With the emergence and persistent popularity of hard-right social media platforms such as Gab, Parler, and Truth Social, it is important to understand the impact they are having on society and politics.

  • EXTREMISMUnderstanding Antisemitism on Twitter After Musk

    New research has found a major and sustained spike in antisemitic posts on Twitter since the company’s takeover by Elon Musk on October 27, 2022. Researchers found that the volume of English-language antisemitic tweets more than doubled in the period following Musk’s takeover.