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in·ter·net ob·serv·a·to·ry

[ˈin(t)ərˌnet əbˈzərvəˌtôrē] n. a lab housing infrastructure and human expertise for the study of the internet
virality project final report cover page showing images of iphones and computers

New Report Provides Inside Look and Lessons from Monitoring COVID-19 Anti-Vaccine Narratives

The Virality Project final report finds recycled anti-vaccine narratives and viral content driven by recurring actors.

Featured News and Publications

Image of social media icons and a hand holding a phone

Full-Spectrum Pro-Kremlin Online Propaganda about Ukraine

Narratives from overt propaganda, unattributed Telegram channels, and inauthentic social media accounts.
An illustration of a magnifying glass hovering over screenshots from the report. The magnifying glass is revealing the letters "OSINT" in the background.

Final Projects from the Stanford Internet Observatory's Online Open Source Investigation Course

Research on inauthentic behavior on TikTok, misinformation on Stanford's campus, Telegram activity in Belarus, health insurance scams that run advertisements on Google, and QAnon content on Tumblr.
An illustration of the experience of using a poorly coded website with a screen reader. The illustration shows three mockups of a smartphone screen with each selectable choice saying only "button". Behind the buttons is a blurred image of a computer.

Accessibility for Trust and Safety Flows

How well do platform reporting flows and context labels work with screen readers for the visually impaired?

Journal of Online Trust and Safety

The Journal of Online Trust and Safety is a no fee, fast peer review, and open access journal. Authors may submit letters of inquiry to assess whether their manuscript is a good fit. The Journal of Online Trust and Safety is now accepting letters of inquiry for its third issue and special issues.

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Announcing the First Annual Trust and Safety Research Conference, September 29-30, 2022

News / March 28, 2022
The Stanford Internet Observatory and the Trust and Safety Foundation will host a two-day conference focusing on cutting-edge research in trust and safety for those in academia, industry, civil society, and government.
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Encina Hall and its front lawn

Seven tips for spotting disinformation related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict

News / March 3, 2022
Shelby Grossman shares what she and her team watch for when analyzing social media posts and other online reports related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Appeared first in Stanford News)
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the Journal of Online Trust and Safety issue 2 cover

The Second Issue of the Journal of Online Trust and Safety

Blogs / March 1, 2022
The Journal of Online Trust and Safety published its second issue on Tuesday, March 1.
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The cover image of the Virality Project Report. An illustration shows a wave of phones and computers turning red as they share misleading information.

New Report Provides Inside Look and Lessons from Monitoring COVID-19 Anti-Vaccine Narratives

News / February 24, 2022
The Virality Project final report finds recycled anti-vaccine narratives and viral content driven by recurring actors.
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Image of social media icons and a hand holding a phone

Full-Spectrum Pro-Kremlin Online Propaganda about Ukraine

Blogs / February 22, 2022
Narratives from overt propaganda, unattributed Telegram channels, and inauthentic social media accounts
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An illustration of a magnifying glass hovering over screenshots from the report. The magnifying glass is revealing the letters "OSINT" in the background.

Final Projects from the Stanford Internet Observatory's Online Open Source Investigation Course

Blogs / February 8, 2022
Research on inauthentic behavior on TikTok, misinformation on Stanford's campus, Telegram activity in Belarus, health insurance scams that run advertisements on Google, and QAnon content on Tumblr.
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An illustration of the experience of using a poorly coded website with a screen reader. The illustration shows three mockups of a smartphone screen with each selectable choice saying only "button". Behind the buttons is a blurred image of a computer.

Accessibility for Trust and Safety Flows

Blogs / January 20, 2022
How well do platform reporting flows and context labels work with screen readers for the visually impaired?
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cartoon image of a crowd of people

In Bed with Embeds: How a Network Tied to IRA Operations Created Fake “Man on the Street” Content Embedded in News Articles

Blogs / December 2, 2021
In this post and in the attached report, we investigate IRA operations
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twitter_takedown_december_2021.png

Analysis of Twitter Takedowns Linked to Venezuela, Mexico, Tanzania, and China

Blogs / December 2, 2021
In this post and in the attached reports, we investigate four newly suspended Twitter operations.
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abstract image of blue background with final report written over it.

Aspen Digital's Commission on Information Disorder Releases Their Final Report

News / November 17, 2021
The report is the culmination of work by Aspen Digita's Commission on Information Disorder, with guidance from Stanford Cyber's Renee DiResta, Alex Stamos, Daphne Keller, Nate Persily and Herb Lin, and provides a framework for action with 15 recommendations to build trust & reduce harm.
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Image of voter wearing a face mask and voting in a booth

Brazil Election Scene Setter

Blogs / November 11, 2021
This is the fourth of a series of pieces we have published on societies and elections at risk from online disinformation. The politically-fueled disinformation engine in Brazil puts the country in the midst of an information crisis leading up to its 2022 presidential election.
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the cover of the first issue of the journal of online trust and safety featuring a stylized picture of fiber optic cables and the logo of the journal

The first issue of the Journal of Online Trust and Safety

News / October 28, 2021
The journal of Online Trust and Safety published its inaugural issue on Thursday, October 28.
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image of cursor hovering over an image of a lock

Why Encryption and Online Safety Go Hand-in-Hand

Blogs / October 21, 2021
Riana Pfefferkorn is a research scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory and a member of the Global Encryption Coalition. This first appeared in Brookings TECH STREAM.
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jon stewart pictured with Alex stamos of the stanford internet observatory

The Problem With Freedom: It Ain't Free | The Problem With Jon Stewart Podcast

Commentary / October 13, 2021
Alex Stamos talks with Jon Stewart on the vulnerabilities of our democracy and the role of social media.
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Combating Information Manipulation

Playbook shares best practices to combat information manipulation

News / September 17, 2021
The playbook will be launched on Monday 20 September at 9:30am ET.
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man looking at computer

America’s Anti-Hacking Laws Pose a Risk to National Security

Commentary / September 8, 2021
A new piece in Brookings by Riana Pfefferkorn looks at anti-hacking laws
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A collage of Gettr posts against a backdrop of a radiotelescope at dusk

Topologies and Tribulations of Gettr

Blogs / August 12, 2021
A month in the life of a new alt-network
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image of magazines stacked up with the text "Journal of Internet Trust and Safety"

Announcing the Journal of Online Trust and Safety

News / July 29, 2021
Stanford Internet Observatory launches a new open-access journal to feature cutting-edge research on online harm.
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graphic with images of a Facebook post, a TikTok video and a tweet all praising the Jordanian military.

My Heart Loves the Army

Blogs / July 8, 2021
An Investigation into a Jordanian Disinformation Campaign on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter
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The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: How the State Shapes Private Governance book cover

New Book From Shelby Grossman of Stanford Internet Observatory

News / June 24, 2021
In The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: How the State Shapes Private Governance, Grossman explores findings that challenge the conventional wisdom that private good governance in developing countries thrives when the government keeps its hands off private group affairs.
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headliner graphic with a graphic illustration of nodes and connecters and the text "stanford internet observatory 2019-2021 the first two years."

The Stanford Internet Observatory Turns Two

News / June 7, 2021
SIO releases its two year report summarizing its first two years of research, teaching and policy and laying the path for the years to come.
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Can Congress Mandate Meaningful Transparency for Tech Platforms

Blogs / June 2, 2021

When it comes to mitigating online harms, the U.S. Congress is at least united on one point: There is a need for greater transparency from tech companies.

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takedown report headliner

One Face, Many Names: An Investigation into Fake NGOs and Media Outlets Linked to Harouna Douamba on and off Facebook

Blogs / May 6, 2021
A Facebook takedown exposes a network of NGO and media entities linked to Harouna Douamba.
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A green wireframe model covers an actor’s lower face during the creation of a synthetic facial reanimation video, known as a deepfake, in London, Britain, February 12, 2019. Reuters TV via REUTERS

The Threat Posed by Deepfakes to Marginalized Communities

Blogs / April 21, 2021
When we’re faced with a video recording of an event—such as an incident of police brutality—we can generally trust that the event happened as shown in the video. But that may soon change, thanks to the advent of so-called “deepfake” videos that use machine learning technology to show a real person saying and doing things they haven’t.
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clipart-suicide-support

Sizing Up Self-Harm Policies

Blogs / April 8, 2021
The Stanford Internet Observatory’s latest report compares online platforms’ policies on self-harm content.
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