News on Credibility and Trust

On February 24, the hacker collective Anonymous declared cyberwar on Russia, claiming that it was targeting state TV stations, government ministries, and banks in a series of retaliatory strikes for Russia’s cyberattacks on Ukrainian government websites and businesses. The term “cyberwar” may have sounded like hyperbole, but international legal experts tell Rest of World that […]

Last week, Russia passed a law making it a major crime to publish what it deems “fake” news about the country’s military. Violators could face 15 years in prison. And what is “fake” news, exactly? That’s up to Russian authorities. Reportedly, it will include any references to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that call it an […]

From simple labeling to links to third-party sites for accurate information to outright blocking, social media platforms continue to test different ways to keep users informed about content containing mis- and disinformation. A lot of these efforts — often, by the companies’ own admission — have proven less than fruitful. Now, a new study that […]

Russian disinformation often begins with a speck of fact, which is then twisted into a full-blown conspiracy theory. The technique makes it easier to spread and take root among the country’s supporters. Note how quickly the party line uttered by the Russian Foreign Ministry was embraced by Carlson. In this instance, Russia for years has […]

Misinformation ricochets around the internet during any world event or political conflict — that’s nothing new — but TikTok poses new challenges, thanks to an algorithm that doesn’t favor breaking news and how it limits users’ interactions with each other. So when misleading videos or false accounts of what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine […]

Join us for a weekly webinar series organized by the Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center (CPC) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative. The webinar will take place every Tuesday, starting January 11th from 12 PM – 1 PM PST over Zoom. This quarter, we feature […]

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Sometimes fighting a common enemy can unite a country, inspiring solidarity, bravery, and sacrifice. Ordinary citizens become heroes; leaders become icons. But sometimes—like in the United States right now—a common enemy wins by exploiting divisions. As the US faced down a global viral threat two years ago, its people and leaders couldn’t seem more factious […]

A week ago, many of the biggest fronts in the Russia-vs.-the-West information war crossed national borders — Western tech giants restricting Russia’s access to money and audience, and Western governments and cable systems kicking Russian propaganda off their screens. But in recent days, those battles have become more internal, as the Kremlin works hard to […]

The same information revolution that brought us Netflix, podcasts and the knowledge of the world in our smartphone-gripping hands has also undermined American democracy. There can be no doubt that virally spread political disinformation and delusional invective about stolen, rigged elections are threatening the foundation of our Republic. It’s going to take both legal and […]

On december 30, 2019, Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital in Hubei, China, began to warn friends and colleagues about the outbreak of a novel respiratory illness. Four days later, he was summoned to appear before local authorities, who reprimanded him for “making false comments” that “severely disturbed the social order.” In hindsight, Li was […]

A Kremlin-backed media outlet masquerading as a left-wing news source has spent the last week racking up likes and shares on its viral content designed to undermine U.S. support for Ukraine. If you’ve spent much time on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram over the last week consuming content about the war in Ukraine, you’ve probably come […]

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