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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
A graphic depiction of a face falling towards the ground on a red background overlayed with a black satellite dish and the word "takedown".

Takedown: MindFarce

An Investigation into an Inauthentic Facebook and Instagram Network Linked to an Israeli Public Relations Firm

Featured News and Publications

image of a bowl of cartoon frogs with the word Gab on the front

What are the dynamics on alt-platform Gab?

Gab was founded in 2016 as an uncensored alternative to mainstream social media platforms. Stanford Internet Observatory’s latest report looks at behaviors and dynamics across the platform.
abstract blue image with text Trust and Safety Research Conference

Registration open for the Trust & Safety Research Conference

The conference will be held at Stanford University September 29-30, 2022.
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.

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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image of three phones illustrating how end to end encryption works on Meta's platform

Meta Just Happens to Expand Messenger’s End-to-End Encryption

News / August 11, 2022
Riana Pfefferkorn of SIO spoke with Wired on Meta's expansion of end-to-end encryption in Messenger.
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image of police officer over twitter and facebook logos with overlay of tweets and fb posts taken down or labelled by those companies

Were Facebook and Twitter Consistent in Labeling Misleading Posts During the 2020 Election?

News / August 7, 2022
In an essay for Lawfare Blog, Samantha Bradshaw of American University and Shelby Grossman of the Stanford Internet Observatory explore whether two key platforms, Facebook and Twitter, were internally consistent in how they applied their labels during the 2020 presidential election.
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A graphic depiction of a face falling towards the ground on a red background overlayed with a black satellite dish and the word "takedown".

Mind Farce

Blogs / August 4, 2022
An Investigation into an Inauthentic Facebook and Instagram Network Linked to an Israeli Public Relations Firm
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image of seats in court with a microphone at one seat

Renée DiResta of SIO testifies before the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections

News / July 28, 2022
During a hearing titled “A Growing Threat: Foreign And Domestic Sources Of Disinformation," DiResta offered expert testimony on influence operations and the spread of narratives across social and media networks.
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Advocates from Girlguiding U.K. unveil a badge urging an end to online harms ahead of meeting in London with members of Parliament to discuss the Online Safety Bill on Feb. 9, 2022.

Using ‘safety by design’ to address online harms

Blogs / July 26, 2022
A look at how user choice and transparency provide new ways of addressing content moderation and online safety policy.
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image of a bowl of cartoon frogs with the word Gab on the front

New report analyzes dynamics on alt-platform Gab

Blogs / June 1, 2022
Gab was founded in 2016 as an uncensored alternative to mainstream social media platforms. Stanford Internet Observatory’s latest report looks at behaviors and dynamics across the platform.
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fc arrillaga

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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