News on Targets of Disinformation

On March 11, 2020 Twitter shared with the Stanford Internet Observatory accounts and tweets associated with five distinct takedowns. These include: Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt: 5,350 accounts and 36,523,977 tweets. The removed accounts were linked both to a September 2019 takedown of accounts linked to DotDev, a digital marketing firm operating out of Egypt […]

At a White House briefing on the coronavirus on March 20, President Trump called the State Department the “Deep State Department.” Behind him, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, dropped his head and rubbed his forehead. Some thought Dr. Fauci was slighting the president, leading to […]

Google’s threat analysis group, which counters targeted and government-backed hacking against the company and its users, sent account holders almost 40,000 warnings in 2019, with government officials, journalists, dissidents, and geopolitical rivals being the most targeted, team members said on Thursday.The number of warnings declined almost 25 percent from 2018, in part because of new […]

Women and girls face a “growing crisis” of online harms, with sexual harassment, threatening messages and discrimination making the web an unsafe place to be, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned. The inventor of the world wide web said the “dangerous trend” in online abuse was forcing women out of jobs, causing girls to skip school, […]

On March 12, 2020, CNN, Twitter, Facebook, Graphika, and two professors from Clemson University exposed a cross-platform influence operation on social media that was run from Ghana but targeted black communities in the United States. These organizations concluded that the operation, which was still in the early stages of building its audience, was linked to a […]

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is 17 years old, legally a minor. Despite her age, in the past week, numerous actual adults have made her the subject of many forms of online harassment. Some say she ought to be “burnt at the stake”; others have circulated images of a sex doll that resembles Thunberg and […]

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Amazon has blocked over a million products from being sold after they made misleading claims about being able to cure or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Reuters reports. The retailer also says it has removed tens of thousands of deals due to price gouging, as sellers charge much higher prices for […]

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Eight anonymous Telegram channels published unsupported claims that protests in Belarus against the country’s plan for further integration with Russia were organized and controlled by the Belarusian government. The spread of disinformation through pro-Russian anonymous Telegram channels represents a growing concern for Belarusian civil society and media observers. The messaging app Telegram has more than 200 million users globally […]

Evidence from an analysis of Twitter data reveals that Russian social media trolls exploited racial and political identities to infiltrate distinct groups of authentic users, playing on their group identities. The groups affected spanned the ideological spectrum, suggesting the importance of coordinated counter-responses from diverse coalitions of users.

HADDINGTON, Scotland — In August 2017, Ben Nimmo was declared dead by 13,000 Russian bots on Twitter. “Our beloved friend and colleague Ben Nimmo passed away this morning,” read the epitaph, which was manipulated to look as if it were from a co-worker’s Twitter account. “Ben, we will never forget you.” The message was immediately […]

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