Latest Research

March 2023

TikTok in the dock

by Seth Stodder

Whether or not the US bans TikTok, the real issue is the danger presented by all social media platforms as they currently operate, argues Atlantic Council Nonresident Senior Fellow Seth Stodder.
March 2023

How pro-Russia and pro-China influencers cross-promote state narratives

by Kenton Thibaut

Influencers critical of the West have formed a mutually beneficial community on Twitter, amplifying Russian and Chinese state narratives on a range of issues
Footage published by RIA Novosti shows Vladmir Putin’s entourage reacting after a woman reportedly yelled “This all is not true! It’s all for a show!” The clip was later edited out by the Kremlin.
March 2023

Russian War Report: Kremlin edits footage of Mariupol visit to remove women shouting at Putin

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

After Putin was yelled at in Mariupol, the Kremlin cut the exchange from their official video. RIA Novosti published the whole interaction.
Anti-NATO March in Paris, March 18, 2023.
March 2023

Russia-friendly media outlets in Global South frame French anti-government protest as anti-NATO  

by Nika Aleksejeva, Valentin Châtelet

Russian state media coverage of protest in Paris picked up by outlets across the Global South
Supporters of Egypt's army and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi dance and cheer as they celebrate the anniversary of Sinai Liberation Day in Cairo, Egypt, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
March 2023

Egyptian Twitter network amplifies pro-government hashtags, attacks fact-checkers

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

Twitter network targeted the fact-checking organization Saheeh Masr while also promoting the Egyptian government and military
George Ishak during a protest in front of the High Court in Cairo in 2010
March 2023

Suspicious Twitter accounts promote hashtag attacking Egyptian human rights defender 

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

Veteran activist George Ishak targeted by disinformation campaign after criticizing Egyptian government
A Russian serviceman walks past the Operational Group of Russian Forces headquarters in Tiraspol, in Moldova's self-proclaimed separatist Transnistria, November 3, 2021. The banner reads "Army of Russia." REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
March 2023

Russia builds a “special information operation” around Transnistria

by Victoria Olari

Rhetoric increasingly pushes idea of military conflict in the separatist region of Moldova
A Ukrainian soldier of the Paratroopers' of 80th brigade listens to artillery fire a frontline position near Bakhmut, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine March 16, 2023. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura
March 2023

Russian War Report: DFRLab confirms aerial strikes on industrial plants north of Bakhmut

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

As Russian forces continue their offensive on Bakhmut, the DFRLab examined satellite imagery to reveal the potential of missile attacks.
A protester wrapped in a Georgian national flag raises hands while standing in front of law enforcement officers during a rally against the "foreign agents" law in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 7, 2023. REUTERS/Zurab Javakhadze
March 2023

How the Kremlin misrepresented a video to claim Georgian protesters seek war with Russia

by Sopo Gelava

Footage from a protest in Tbilisi was presented with false context to accuse protesters of seeking war in the Russian-occupied Georgian region of Abkhazia

In-Depth Reports

December 2022

An introduction to the Freedom Online Coalition

by Rose Jackson, Leah (Léa) Fiddler, Jacqueline Malaret

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is comprised of thirty-four member countries committed to advancing Internet freedom and human rights online.
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August 2022

Chinese discourse power: Ambitions and reality in the digital domain

by Kenton Thibaut

The CCP has embarked on a concerted strategy to gain control over the global digital and information environment. Its goal: create an alternative global order with China at its heart.
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Map of the global south in which China uses discourse power.
April 2022

China’s discourse power operations in the Global South

by Kenton Thibaut

An overview of China’s discourse power activities in the Global South, including the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. It outlines the processes through which China leverages its diplomatic, media, and political positions in these regions to gain influence, and assesses the impacts of these activities for democratic resilience worldwide.
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Financing & Genocide: Development Finance and the Crisis in the Uyghur Region
February 2022

Financing & genocide: Development finance and the crisis in the Uyghur Region

by Laura T. Murphy, Kendyl Salcito, Nyrola Elimä

A joint report that reveals how the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has significant investments in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where indigenous peoples have been subjected to what international legislators, legal scholars, and advocates have determined to be a genocide.
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January 2022

After the insurrection: How domestic extremists adapted and evolved after the January 6 US Capitol attack

by Jared Holt

This report by the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) provides an overview and analysis of the shifts observed in domestic extremist movements since the 2021 Capitol attack.
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Digital information panel
July 2021

Information defense: Policy measures taken against foreign information manipulation

by Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer

A joint report from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab and Europe Center on the policy measures government and private sector can take against foreign information manipulation.
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Nicholas Maduro
April 2021

Digital Autocracy: Maduro’s control of the Venezuelan information environment

by Daniel Suárez Pérez, Esteban Ponce de León

A 16-month monitoring report that analyzes the information environment in Venezuela, exploring the Maduro regime’s tactics when promoting influence operations in the country and abroad.
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February 2021

Weaponized: How rumors about COVID-19’s origins led to a narrative arms race

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

A joint research project from the Digital Forensic Research Lab and the Associate Press on information environments during the first six months of COVID-19.
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Russian soldier and helicopter

Russian War Report

As Russia’s aggression in Europe heats up, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) is keeping a close eye on Moscow’s movements across the military, cyber, and information domains.

Foreign Interference Attribution Tracker

The DFRLab’s Foreign Interference Attribution Tracker (FIAT) is an interactive, open-source database that captures allegations of foreign interference relevant to the 2020 election. This tool assesses the credibility, bias, evidence, transparency, and impact of each claim.

Election Official Handbook: Preparing for Election Day Misinformation

As part of the Election Integrity Partnership, the DFRLab has analyzed roughly four hundred cases of election-related dis- and misinformation on social media. This memo gathers the findings and issues recommendations for US election officials: they must prepare for viral falsehoods online that persist for weeks.

Dichotomies of Disinformation

Via the DFRLab’s Github: This project isolates “political disinformation campaigns.” Dichotomies of Disinformation proposes and tests a classification system built on 150 variable options. Our intent is to establish a replicable, extensible system by which widely disparate disinformation campaigns can be categorized and compared.

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