News August 17, 2022

How Unmoderated Platforms Became the Frontline for Russian Propaganda

In an essay for Lawfare Blog, Samantha Bradshaw, Renee DiResta and Christopher Giles look at how state war propaganda in Russia is increasingly prevalent on platforms that offer minimal-moderation virality as their value proposition.
social media icons on a phone
Social media applications on a phone (Jason Howie, https://flic.kr/p/e5wZ3t; CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the evolving complexities of platform governance challenges in an increasingly decentralized information environment. Russia’s war in Ukraine has killed, injured, and displaced thousands of civilians. Russia, leading up to and throughout the conflict, brought the full scope of its propaganda apparatus to bear, leveraging overt and covert capabilities on both broadcast and social media to justify the invasion, downplay the death and destruction of families and homes, and deny human rights abuses. Social media companies have been called to make difficult, real-time decisions about content moderation with life-or-death stakes. However, even as the Western conversation focuses on Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet’s successes and failures, state war propaganda is increasingly prevalent on platforms that offer minimal-moderation virality as their value proposition.

read more

virality project graphic with RT logo and flags
Blogs

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

Mind Farce

An Investigation into an Inauthentic Facebook and Instagram Network Linked to an Israeli Public Relations Firm
Encina Hall and its front lawn
News

Seven tips for spotting disinformation related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict

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)