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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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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. Noncompliance may expose a provider to legal liability from which it is otherwise immune.
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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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twitter takedown headliner

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.
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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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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。
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palestine takedown headliner

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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stanford dish at sunset

E2EE Workshop Series: Call for Papers and Participants

News / February 3, 2021
Balancing Trust and Safety in an Encrypted World: A workshop series from the Stanford Internet Observatory
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hand holding phone with parler logo

Parler's First 13 Million Users

Blogs / January 28, 2021
As Parler gained millions of users - and plenty of notoriety - in recent months, understanding the dynamics of the platform has become an increasing priority. A report by the Stanford Internet Observatory analyzes three Parler datasets to understand a platform designed for non-moderation, and to map its domestic and increasingly international growth.
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Riana Pfefferkorn

Q&A with Riana Pfefferkorn, Stanford Internet Observatory Research Scholar

News / January 21, 2021
Riana Pfefferkorn joined the Stanford Internet Observatory as a research scholar in December. She comes from Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, where she was the Associate Director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity.
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magnifying glass hovering over Wikipedia logo

How to Investigate Wikipedia: Our Process

Blogs / January 14, 2021
Wikipedia celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. This blog post, the second of two, looks at how open source investigators can conduct research on Wikipedia.
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wikipedia graphic

Inauthentic Editing: Changing Wikipedia to Win Elections and Influence People

Blogs / January 7, 2021
Wikipedia celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. This is the first of two blog posts exploring the use, misuse, and ultimate resilience of this open, community-edited platform.
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stop hand facing video camera

Online Consent Moderation

Blogs / December 18, 2020
New Approaches to Preventing Proliferation of Non-Consensual Intimate Images
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takedown report headliner

Stoking Conflict by Keystroke

Blogs / December 15, 2020
New Facebook takedowns expose networks of Russian-linked assets targeting Libya, Sudan, Syria, and the Central African Republic.
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anti-GNA Facebook post

Slanted Narratives, Social Media, and Foreign Influence in Libya

Blogs / November 10, 2020
New working paper assesses the role of foreign influence in Libyan social media
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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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