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
graphic illustration of facebook posts from yemen

Facebook takes down inauthentic assets impersonating government agencies in Yemen

We analyzed a now-suspended network of Facebook Pages, Groups, and profiles linked to individuals in Yemen. We found accounts that impersonated government ministries in Saudi Arabia, posts that linked to anti-Houthi websites, and pro-Turkish Pages and Gro

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Two Faces of Russian Information Operations: Coronavirus Coverage in Spanish

RT en Español leaves coronavirus-related disinformation to other sites in the Russia-aligned information space.
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Announcing the Election Integrity Partnership

A new partnership will tackle electoral disinformation in real time as we strive for a healthy and successful election.
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New White Paper on China's Full-Spectrum Information Operations

Our latest white paper, in collaboration with the Hoover Institution, dives into China’s capabilities and raises an important question: how do states with full-spectrum propaganda capabilities put them to use in modern-day information operations?

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graphic illustration of facebook posts from yemen

The Ministry of Made-Up Pages: Yemen-Based Actors Impersonate Government Agencies to Spread Anti-Houthi Content

Blog / August 6, 2020
We analyzed a now-suspended network of Facebook Pages, Groups, and profiles linked to individuals in Yemen. We found accounts that impersonated government ministries in Saudi Arabia, posts that...
virality project graphic with RT logo and flags

Two Faces of Russian Information Operations: Coronavirus Coverage in Spanish

Blog / July 30, 2020
RT en Español leaves coronavirus-related disinformation to other sites in the Russia-aligned information space.
A US flag with binary code

Announcing the Election Integrity Partnership

News / July 27, 2020
A new partnership with Stanford Internet Observatory, the Program on Democracy and the Internet, DFRLab, Graphika and the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public will tackle...
SIO China Whitepaper Cover

New White Paper on China's Full-Spectrum Information Operations

Blog / July 20, 2020
The white paper, in collaboration with the Hoover Institution, dives into China’s capabilities and raises an important question: how do states with full-spectrum propaganda capabilities put them to...
clipart-suicide-support

Suicide prevention content in multiple languages on major platforms

Blog / July 16, 2020
Google, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram feature suicide prevention resources on English language searches in the US, but are those resources available to a broader audience? Performance varies across...
reddit hate speech

Comparing Platform Hate Speech Policies: Reddit's Inevitable Evolution

Blog / July 8, 2020
On Monday, June 30, 2020, Reddit updated its policy on hate speech. As part of research for a forthcoming book based on the Stanford Internet Observatory’s Trust and Safety Engineering course, we...

Virality Project: Saudi Arabia State Media and COVID-19

Blog / June 24, 2020

COVID-19 has directly or indirectly affected every country, providing an opportunity for comparative analysis of the ways governments use the pandemic to pursue political objectives. SIO has been conducting case studies investigating how various state media apparatuses are responding to the crisis, and the political dimensions of coronavirus misinformation around the world. Here we focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, investigating how its state media (and media formally or informally linked to the ruling royal family) have discussed the pandemic.

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russia twitter takedown

Dispatches from the June 2020 Twitter Inauthentic Activity Takedown

Blog / June 18, 2020
On June 12, 2020, Twitter removed 1,152 accounts attributed to Current Policy, “a media website engaging in state-backed political propaganda within Russia.” These accounts were taken down because...
virality project   mask diplomacy

Mask Diplomacy: Chinese Narratives in the COVID Era

Blog / June 16, 2020
China has been shipping medical supplies to countries battling the coronavirus pandemic, an effort dubbed “mask diplomacy.” It remains to be seen if China will be able to tailor its messages...
twitter takedown june 2020

Analysis of June 2020 Twitter takedowns linked to China, Russia and Turkey

Blog / June 11, 2020
On June 3, 2020 Twitter shared with the Stanford Internet Observatory three distinct takedown datasets from China, Turkey and Russia. In this post and in the attached white papers on the China and...
virality project   penguins and protests 2 copy 2

Virality Project (Russia): Penguins and Protests

Blog / June 9, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, RT’s English-language branches worked to undermine lockdown measures in Western countries while extolling the Russian and Chinese governments’...
Floyd digital street conflict

Digital Street Conflict

Blog / June 3, 2020
A survey of spam, state and covert activities in the U.S. during domestic unrest.
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Online Misinformation about Vaccines

News / June 3, 2020
In the June 2020 Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science Policy Report, "Meeting the Challenge of Vaccination Hesitancy," Stanford Internet Observatory research manager Renée DiResta and First Draft...
biinomo cover

An Investigation into Domestic Nigerian Social Media Financial Scams

Blog / June 2, 2020
We identify hundreds of scam social media accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok targeting individuals in Nigeria. These accounts post on compromised accounts claiming to...

Virality Project (US): Marketing meets Misinformation

Blog / May 26, 2020

Plandemic was one step in a larger process to raise the profile of its subject. SIO had begun to observe an increasing number of posts about Plandemic’s subject, Judy Mikovits, beginning on April 16. For two and a half weeks, we observed a series of cross-platform moments in which Judy Mikovits – a scientist whose work was retracted by journal editors – was recast as an expert whistleblower exposing a vast government cover-up.

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Launching the SIO Virality Project

Blog / May 21, 2020
The Stanford Internet Observatory's Virality Project is a new global study aimed at understanding disinformation dynamics specific to the COVID-19 crisis. As the pandemic became the primary...
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Poland Presidential Election 2020: Disinformation Strikes the Military

Blog / May 8, 2020
Amid increasing political turmoil and a potential constitutional crisis, Poland was recently targeted by an elaborate disinformation operation. We studied the tactics used by the attackers and...
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Coordinated behavior across 18 pro-Saif Gaddafi Facebook Pages

Blog / April 27, 2020
A cluster of pro-Saif Gaddafi Facebook Pages suspended for inauthentic behavior worked to create the impression that Saif has broad support among Libyans, and tried to undermine the recognized...
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Stanford Internet Observatory launches attribution.news with First Draft

Blog / April 20, 2020
Attribution.news provides journalists with tools to effectively cover the origins of both cyber incidents and information operations online. It unpacks some of these complexities through case studies...
WARSAW, POLAND - OCTOBER 13: Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the governing, right-wing Law and Justice political party (PiS), speaks to supporters following the announcement of first results in Polish parliamentary elections on October 13, 2019 in Warsaw, P

Poland Presidential Election 2020: The Pandemic Sows Chaos

Blog / April 10, 2020
With a month to go until the planned election date, neither the final date of the election nor the mechanism for voting has been established. To comply with social distancing, the campaign has moved...

Virality Project (China): Coronavirus Conspiracy Claims

Blog / March 31, 2020

As scientists continue to study how the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Wuhan, China, and around the world, the infection’s early pathways have proven fertile ground for speculation and conspiracy theories. Although COVID-19’s earliest origins may remain uncertain, the story of one volley in the ongoing U.S.-China blame game shows that misinformation about the disease can be traced to specific speculations, distortions, and amplifications. 

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Blurring the lines of media authenticity: Prigozhin-linked group funding Libyan broadcast media

Blog / March 20, 2020

The Stanford Internet Observatory has been investigating new facets to the manipulation of the local media environment in Libya: Russian actors who are known to have previously created and sponsored online news media fronts and associated Facebook pages, now appear to be expanding into similar activities in broadcast media.

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Virality Project (China): Pandemics & Propaganda

Blog / March 19, 2020

The perception of China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been a significant challenge for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the past two months. The CCP has been attempting to control the narrative and deflect blame since the start of the outbreak, both domestically and abroad.

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Polish Presidential Election 2020: Two Months Out

Blog / March 10, 2020

For a broader look at the upcoming Polish election, its stakes and major figures, see our scene-setter.

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