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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
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Takedown: Unheard Voice

Stanford Internet Observatory collaborated with Graphika to analyze a large network of accounts removed from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in our latest report.

Featured News and Publications

Political cartoon encouraging Indians to boycott Chinese products

My Heart Belongs to Kashmir

An Analysis of a Pro-Indian Army Covert Influence Operation on Twitter
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Trust & Safety Research Conference Livestream

The conference will be held at Stanford University September 29-30, 2022.
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Pro-Kremlin Twitter Network Takes Aim at Ukraine and COVID-19

Twitter suspended a network of accounts that coordinated to promote narratives around the coronavirus pandemic, and to amplify a pro-Russian news site ahead of the invasion of Ukraine.

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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Lawfare Debate

The Threat of Foreign Influence Operations

Blogs / October 23, 2020
A new SIO-Lawfare debate series argues the questions: What is the impact of foreign influence operations targeting the United States? Is public conversation commensurate with the threat level?
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takedown report headliner

Analysis of an October 2020 Facebook Takedown Linked to U.S. Political Consultancy Rally Forge

Blogs / October 8, 2020
An astroturfing operation involving fake accounts (some with AI-generated images) that left thousands of comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Clients included Turning Point Action and Inclusive Conservation Group, a pro-hunting organization.
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Twitter takedown

Analysis of Twitter Takedowns Linked to Cuba, the Internet Research Agency, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand 

Blogs / October 8, 2020
In this post and in the attached reports we investigate operations linked to youth organizations with ties to the Cuban government, the Internet Research Agency, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Royal Thai Military.
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Nigeria Takedown twitter graphic

Analysis of an October 2020 Facebook Takedown Linked to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria

Blogs / October 8, 2020
In this post and in the attached report we investigate an operation that called for the release from prison of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
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Fake profiles real children internet observatory

Fake Profiles, Real Children

Blogs / October 1, 2020
A Look at the Use of Stolen Child Imagery in Social Media Role-Playing Games
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Banner Image Wenxue City

Chinese Expat News Site Resists CCP Influence

Blogs / September 24, 2020
A popular source of information among the Chinese diaspora is the website Wenxuecity.com. There have been allegations that the site’s funding is linked to the Chinese government. In this post, we investigate these allegations.
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Le président guinéen Alpha Condé signe le livre d'or du Secrétaire d'Etat américain John Kerry

Qui sont les trolls Facebook du président guinéen ? Campagne électorale moderne ou actions inauthentiques concertées, une frontière floue

Blogs / September 21, 2020
Nous avons enquêté sur un large réseau de pages Facebook opérées par le parti du président guinéen Alpha Condé. Les Pages orchestrent des publications qui soutiennent la candidature de Condé à un troisième mandat, et sont gérées sous des noms d'emprunt.
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Guinean President Alpha Condé Signing Secretary of State Kerry's Guest Book, October 9, 2014.

Who Are the President of Guinea's Facebook Trolls? The Blurry Line Between Modern Campaigning and Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior

Blogs / September 21, 2020
We document an extensive network of Facebook Pages operated by Guinean president Alpha Condé’s political party. The Pages coordinated posting to support Condé's bid for a third term, and the accounts that managed the Pages did not use their real names.
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A US PR Firm Steps Into Contested Elections

Blogs / September 4, 2020
A U.S.-based strategic communications firm engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting people in Bolivia and Venezuela.
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graphic of facebook page on computer

Reporting for Duty

Blogs / September 1, 2020
An investigation into a network of Pakistan-based Facebook and Instagram accounts suspended for coordinated inauthentic behavior reveals mass reporting to silence critics of Islam and Pakistan.
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man waiving flag at protest in Belarus

No Modest Voices: Social Media and the Protests in Belarus

Blogs / August 28, 2020
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram have largely become a rallying space for protesters and supporters of the opposition.
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graphic with corona viruses, stylized flags of Iran and Israel, and the hastag covid1948

#Covid1948: The Spread of an Anti-Israel Hashtag

Blogs / August 13, 2020
An Investigation into a coordinated hashtag on Twitter.
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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

Blogs / 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 linked to anti-Houthi websites, and pro-Turkish Pages and Groups.
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virality project graphic with RT logo and flags

Two Faces of Russian Information Operations: Coronavirus Coverage in Spanish

Blogs / July 30, 2020
RT en Español leaves coronavirus-related disinformation to other sites in the Russia-aligned information space.
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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 electoral disinformation in real time as we strive for a healthy and successful election.
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SIO China Whitepaper Cover

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

Blogs / 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 use in modern-day information operations? We examine 3 case studies: Hong Kong's 2019-2020 protests; Taiwan’s 2020 election; and COVID-19.
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clipart-suicide-support

Suicide prevention content in multiple languages on major platforms

Blogs / 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 countries and languages and supportive content appears more frequently in wealthy European and East Asian countries and less frequently other regions.
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reddit hate speech

Comparing Platform Hate Speech Policies: Reddit's Inevitable Evolution

Blogs / 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 present a comparative assessment of platform policies and enforcement practices on hate speech, and discuss how Reddit fits into this framework.
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Virality Project: Saudi Arabia State Media and COVID-19

Blogs / 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

Blogs / 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 they violated Twitter’s policy on platform manipulation. Our latest white paper analyzes their activities and motivations.
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virality project   mask diplomacy

Mask Diplomacy: Chinese Narratives in the COVID Era

Blogs / 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 effectively to win hearts and minds of people around the world.
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twitter takedown june 2020

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

Blogs / 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 Turkey operations, we look at the topics and tactics of these operations.
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Virality Project (Russia): Penguins and Protests

Blogs / 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’ success in containing the virus’s spread.
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