• EXTREMISMViolent Extremist Music Prevalent on Spotify, While Platform Largely Declines to Act

    Music has long been an effective way to radicalize extremists, allowing artists to both entertain and indoctrinate vulnerable listeners. Researchers have identified 40 racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist (RMVE) artists with a presence on Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming platform.

  • COMBATTING INFLUENCE CAMPAIGNSFighting Foreign Interference

    By Brendan Nicholson

    Many in Europe did not take the foreign interference threat seriously until Russia launched its war against Ukraine on 24 February, even though European nations were already subjected to a form of hybrid warfare from Russia with cyberattacks on hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic, attacks on public institutions, attempts to corrupt leaders and financing of political parties. China’s emerging interference campaign emulates Russia’s. Their goal is :to ensure the democracies no longer functioned and gave way to authoritarian regimes,” says a European expert.

  • EXTREMISMMajority of Posts on Extremist Online Forums Made by “Hyper” Poster Cliques

    Most posts in extremist online forums are made by a clique of particularly committed members, a major new study shows. An analysis of the chatrooms have also discovered they have identical participation structures.

  • TRUTH DECAYWhat Fake News About Spiders Can Teach Us About the Global Spread of (Mis)information

    It’s no secret that the internet and social media fuel rampant spread of (mis)information in many areas of life. Now, researchers have explored this phenomenon as it applies to news about spiders. The verdict? Don’t blindly trust anything you read online about these eight-legged arthropods — or anything else for that matter — and always consider the source.

  • TRUTH DECAYTruth Decay in Europe

    What is the empirical evidence for the trends, drivers and consequences of Truth Decay in Europe, and how does that compare with what was found for the United States? To what extent does this evidence apply across Europe as a whole, or are there differences within Europe in the empirical evidence of trends, drivers and consequences of Truth Decay? What are the implications of applying the conceptual framework developed for the United States framework of Truth Decay in Europe? Which areas need to be further investigated in order to tackle Truth Decay in Europe?

  • CYBERSECURITYDid Twitter Ignore Basic Security Measures? A Cybersecurity Expert Explains a Whistleblower’s Claims

    By Richard Forno

    Twitter’s former security chief, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission in July 2022, accusing the microblogging platform company of serious security failings. Zatko’s most damning accusations center around Twitter’s alleged failure to have a solid cybersecurity plan to protect user data, deploy internal controls to guard against insider threats and ensure the company’s systems were current and properly updated.

  • DISINFORMATIONFighting Against Disinformation with Lessons from Cybersecurity

    By Kylie Foy

    Mary Ellen Zurko pioneered user-centered security in the 1990s. Now she is using those insights to help the nation thwart influence operations.

  • EXTREMISMWhat Happened When Twitter and Other Social Media Platforms Cracked Down on Extremists

    By A. C. Thompson

    In a Q&A with ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, former intelligence officer and data scientist Welton Chang explains how conspiracy theorists and violent racists fled to smaller platforms. Once there, their remarks festered and spread.

  • INFORMATION CONFRONTATIONRivalry in the Information Sphere

    How is information confrontation defined in the Russian military-scientific literature and in Russian strategic documents? What are its subtypes, and which Russian organizations contribute to information confrontation efforts? How has information confrontation as an element of Russian military strategy evolved over time, from Imperial Russia to the Putin era? How might the concept and its role in Russian military operations evolve in the future?

  • ARGUMENT: PROPAGANDAHow Unmoderated Platforms Became the Frontline for Russian Propaganda

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the evolving complexities of platform governance challenges in an increasingly decentralized information environment. Samantha Bradshaw, Renee DiResta, and Christopher Giles write that “A comprehensive strategy to combat disinformation campaigns must consider full spectrum operations that incorporate both overt and covert dynamics across a wide range of analog, digital, and alternative media,” adding that “An overfocus on covert networks on Facebook and Twitter misses the full expanse of the propaganda strategies that often reach more users through different communication media on popular local media and social media channels.”

  • EXTREMISMThere Is a Lot of Antisemitic Hate Speech on Social Media – and Algorithms Are Partly to Blame

    By Sabine von Mering and Monika Hübscher

    Antisemitic incidents have shown a sharp rise in the United States. There were 2,717 incidents in 2021. This represents an increase of 34% over 2020. In Europe, the European Commission found a sevenfold increase in antisemitic postings across French language accounts, and an over thirteenfold increase in antisemitic comments within German channels during the pandemic. Contemporary antisemitism manifests itself in various forms such as GIFs, memes, vlogs, comments and reactions such as likes and dislikes on the platforms. The continuous exposure to antisemitic content at a young age, scholars say, can lead to both normalization of the content and radicalization of the Tik-Tok viewer.

  • TRUTH DECAYYour Brain Is Better Than You at Busting Deepfakes

    Deepfake videos, images, audio, or text appear to be authentic, but in fact are computer generated clones designed to mislead you and sway public opinion. They are the new foot soldiers in the spread of disinformation and are rife – they appear in political, cybersecurity, counterfeiting, and border control realms. While observers can’t consciously recognize the difference between real and fake faces, their brains can.

  • PANDEMICSDuring Pandemic: More News, More Worry

    Anxiety and fear went hand in hand with trying to learn more about COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic in the United States — and the most distressed people were turning on the television and scrolling through social media.

  • TRUTH DECAYBeliefs in Conspiracy Theories May Not Be Increasing

    A new analysis contradicts popular thinking about beliefs in conspiracy theories, suggesting that such beliefs may not have actually increased over time. The new findings challenge widespread perceptions by the public, scholars, journalists, and policymakers.

  • DISINFORMATIONThese Red Flags Can Let You Know When You’re in an Online Echo Chamber

    Online echo chambers are virtual spaces that gather like-minded individuals. Research has shown that people are more likely to believe and share information they encounter in these spaces, because it confirms their existing beliefs. Somesocial media users who routinely engage in this style of communication also spread disinformation.