15 Nov 2021

Social Media Platforms Operate More As Independent States, Not Their Proxies

An independent watchdog journalism organization recently published a report that alleged that a team within Facebook attempted to influence Nicaragua’s presidential election. Facebook deleted the accounts of the country’s “top news outlets, journalists and activists, all of whom who supported the ruling left-wing Sandinista government.” Facebook, and social media writ large, has been consistently under the microscope since hostile actors used those platforms to help sow discord during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Even an after-action U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment found that influence operations, disinformation, and fake news were actively distributed via these social media channels, calling attention to how responsible these companies should be for the information created and passed on their platforms.

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11 Nov 2021

Former CISA Director Krebs and Former Congressman William Hurd both Commissioners on Information Disorder Report

Former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Christopher Krebs is a co-chair of the Commission on Information Disorder Report. Commission members include the OODA Network’s Congressman William Hurd, along with other leading internet researchers and policymakers. The Commission Report is an effort by Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute, which focuses on global, multidisciplinary issues across “cybersecurity, the information ecosystem, emerging technology, the industry talent pipeline, tech, and communications policy, and innovation.”

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09 Nov 2021

Meta Platforms’ Facebook will Remove Detailed Ad Targeting Options; The Filter Bubble Transparency Act Pending in Congress

There have been two major developments on the “disinformation and influence campaign” front. First, Meta Platforms just announced that they will be removing certain ad targeting options and expanding ad controls. Second, the House this week introduced the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, which “would require large-scale platforms to allow those users to consume information outside of a potential manipulation zone or filter bubble.”

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04 Nov 2021

Ransomware Hoax Spins Disinformation in a New Direction

On August 22, 2021, the “new” ransomware group Groove emerged on a nascent but fairly exclusive Russian-language DarkNet cybercrime forum. Groove was around for two years focusing their activities on financially motivated industrial espionage. However, what garnered substantial attention was Groove’s call to arms – calling on other extortion groups to attack U.S. interests after law enforcement shut down the group’s operations after an unknown entity hijacked their DarkNet domains. In the end, Groove proved to be an instructional disinformation hoax.

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05 Oct 2021

The Information Threat Vector(s): Why Facebook Regulation and Accountability Matters

Facebook has been headlining the news the last three days – and not in a good way.

Why are the scale, scope, and impact of Facebook and its family of social media platforms (Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.) so important?

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28 Sep 2021

Russia Behind ‘Ghostwriter’ Campaign Targeting Germany

The European Union has blamed Russia for an ongoing disinformation campaign referred to as Ghostwriter that is targeting Germany amid political events and elections. Germany is only the latest target of the campaign, which has been ongoing for years and previously attempted to discredit NATO, smeared and cyberattacked Parliament members,

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21 Sep 2021

Omand and Medina on Disinformation, Cognitive Bias, Cognitive Traps and Decision-making

In August, Bob Gourley had a far-ranging conversation with Sir David Omand. One of the most respected intelligence professionals in the world, Omand is also the author of the book How Spies Think: Ten lessons in intelligence. In May of 2020, Bob’s OODAcast conversation was with Carmen Medina, who served 32 years in senior positions at the Central Intelligence Agency, most of which focused on one of the hardest tasks in the community, that of analysis. 

These two conversations hit on topics such as disinformation, cognitive bias, cognitive traps, biased decision-making during the pandemic, strategic action, the paradox of warning, and decision-making.

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18 Aug 2021

Mozilla, MacArthur and Ford foundations unite to oppose Facebook ban on NYU disinformation research

Earlier this week, multiple high profile foundations including Mozilla, MacArthur, and Ford foundations joined forces to criticize Facebook for disabling the accounts of New York University researchers who were conducting an investigation into disinformation on the platform. Other organizations included in the criticism are the NetGain Partnership and the Omidyar

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16 Apr 2021

How State’s Disinformation-Fighting Arm Uses Artificial Intelligence

The State Department’s Global Engagement Center is utilizing artificial intelligence to counter state-sponsored propaganda and disinformation campaigns in other countries that are aimed at undermining the US. Artificial intelligence is incredibly useful to these efforts, according to the center’s Acting Coordinator Daniel Kimmage, and can be used to identify coordinated

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08 Apr 2021

Facebook tackles deepfake spread and troll farms in latest moderation push

Earlier this week, Facebook published its latest Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior report, in which it listed its most recent efforts to curb coordinated illegitimate behavior across the social media platform. According to the report, Facebook investigated and wiped out a long-running troll farm located in Albania with a widespread impact. The

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