FSI's research on the origins, character and consequences of government institutions spans continents and academic disciplines. The institute’s senior fellows and their colleagues across Stanford examine the principles of public administration and implementation. Their work focuses on how maternal health care is delivered in rural China, how public action can create wealth and eliminate poverty, and why U.S. immigration reform keeps stalling. 

FSI’s work includes comparative studies of how institutions help resolve policy and societal issues. Scholars aim to clearly define and make sense of the rule of law, examining how it is invoked and applied around the world. 

FSI researchers also investigate government services – trying to understand and measure how they work, whom they serve and how good they are. They assess energy services aimed at helping the poorest people around the world and explore public opinion on torture policies. The Children in Crisis project addresses how child health interventions interact with political reform. Specific research on governance, organizations and security capitalizes on FSI's longstanding interests and looks at how governance and organizational issues affect a nation’s ability to address security and international cooperation.

Recent News

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Playbook shares best practices to combat information manipulation

September 2021

The playbook will be launched on Monday 20 September at 9:30am ET.

America’s Anti-Hacking Laws Pose a Risk to National Security

September 2021

A new piece in Brookings by Riana Pfefferkorn looks at anti-hacking laws

Topologies and Tribulations of Gettr

August 2021

A month in the life of a new alt-network

Announcing the Journal of Online Trust and Safety

July 2021

Stanford Internet Observatory launches a new open-access journal to feature cutting-edge research on online harm.

My Heart Loves the Army

July 2021

An Investigation into a Jordanian Disinformation Campaign on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter

New Book From Shelby Grossman of Stanford Internet Observatory

June 2021

In The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: How the State Shapes Private Governance, Grossman explores findings that challenge the conventional wisdom that private good governance in developing...

The Stanford Internet Observatory Turns Two

June 2021

SIO releases its two year report summarizing its first two years of research, teaching and policy and laying the path for the years to come.

One Face, Many Names: An Investigation into Fake NGOs and Media Outlets Linked to Harouna Douamba on and off Facebook

May 2021

A Facebook takedown exposes a network of NGO and media entities linked to Harouna Douamba.

Sizing Up Self-Harm Policies

April 2021

The Stanford Internet Observatory’s latest report compares online platforms’ policies on self-harm content.

Election Integrity Partnership Releases Final Report on Mis- and Disinformation in 2020 U.S. Election

March 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.’

Analysis of February 2021 Twitter Takedowns

February 2021

In this post and in the attached reports we investigate a Twitter network attributed to actors in Armenia, Iran, and Russia.

Clubhouse in China: Is the data safe?

February 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.


February 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。

Staying Current

February 2021

An Investigation Into a Suspended Facebook Network Supporting the Leader of the Palestinian Democratic Reform Current

E2EE Workshop Series: Call for Papers and Participants

February 2021

Balancing Trust and Safety in an Encrypted World: A workshop series from the Stanford Internet Observatory

Parler's First 13 Million Users

January 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...

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

January 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...

How to Investigate Wikipedia: Our Process

January 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.

Inauthentic Editing: Changing Wikipedia to Win Elections and Influence People

January 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.

Online Consent Moderation

December 2020

New Approaches to Preventing Proliferation of Non-Consensual Intimate Images

Stoking Conflict by Keystroke

December 2020

New Facebook takedowns expose networks of Russian-linked assets targeting Libya, Sudan, Syria, and the Central African Republic.

Slanted Narratives, Social Media, and Foreign Influence in Libya

November 2020

New working paper assesses the role of foreign influence in Libyan social media


rsd18 083 0009a Alex Stamos Director, Stanford Internet Observatory
ayca Ayça Alemdaroğlu Research Scholar, CDDRL Associate Director, Program on Turkey
Daniel Bush Daniel Bush Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford Internet Observatory
headshot of Josh Goldstein Josh A. Goldstein Predoctoral Fellow, Stanford Internet Observatory
woman in a black shirt smiling Karen Nershi Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Internet Observatory
Man in a black suit smiling Ronald E Robertson Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Internet Observatory
Alex Zaheer Headshot Alex Zaheer Graduate Research Assistant Technical Research Assistant
isabella garcia camargo headshot Isabella Garcia-Camargo Former Research Analyst, Stanford Internet Observatory
photo kurzynski Maciej Kurzynski Graduate Research Assistant, Stanford Internet Observatory, PhD Candidate, Chinese
vanessa molter Vanessa Molter Graduate Research Assistant, Stanford Internet Observatory
Shelby Perkins headshot Shelby Perkins Graduate Research Assistant, Stanford Internet Observatory
Carly Miller Carly Miller Research Analyst, Stanford Internet Observatory