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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
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?

Featured News and Publications

twitter_takedown_december_2021.png

December 2021 Twitter Takedowns

Newly suspended Twitter operations linked to Venezuela, Mexico, Tanzania, China and Russia.
committee on homeland security logo

Committee on Homeland Security Hosts Stanford Internet Observatory Experts for Securing Democracy Hearing

The Stanford Internet Observatory's Matt Masterson and Alex Stamos spoke at a virtual hearing on the importance of policy work in order to secure American elections.
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 Journal of Online Trust and Safety

The Journal of Online Trust and Safety is now accepting letters of inquiry for its third issue.

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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?
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.
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
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...
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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...
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.

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.
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...
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.
A member of the All India Student Federation teaches farmers about social media and how to use such tools as part of ongoing protests against the government. (Pradeep Gaur / SOPA Images / Sipa via Reuters Connect)

New Intermediary Rules Jeopardize the Security of Indian Internet Users

Blogs / March 3, 2021
India' information technology ministry recently finalized a set of rules that the government argues will make online service providers more accountable for their users’ bad behavior...
Cover of the EIP report "The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election"

Election Integrity Partnership Releases Final Report on Mis- and Disinformation in 2020 U.S. Election

News / March 2, 2021
Researchers from Stanford University, the University of Washington, Graphika and Atlantic Council’s DFRLab released their findings in ‘The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election.’
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Analysis of February 2021 Twitter Takedowns

Blogs / February 23, 2021
In this post and in the attached reports we investigate a Twitter network attributed to actors in Armenia, Iran, and Russia.
Clubhouse under the chinese cloud

Clubhouse在中国:他的数据安全吗?

Blogs / February 12, 2021
语音社交App “Clubhouse”,在中文听众中爆红。斯坦福大学网络观测平台(SIO)调查了这个App的数据是否保护它的用户数据,以及用户数据为何需要被保护。
Clubhouse under the chinese cloud

Clubhouse in China: Is the data safe?

Blogs / February 12, 2021
The audio chat app “Clubhouse” went viral among Chinese-speaking audiences. Stanford Internet Observatory examines whether user data was protected, and why that matters.
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Staying Current

Blogs / February 9, 2021
An Investigation Into a Suspended Facebook Network Supporting the Leader of the Palestinian Democratic Reform Current

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