Social Media Analysis

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  • A biohazard warning symbol and social media icons over a city, images by petrovv and soulcld/Getty Images; design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Social Media Can Provide Insights About Chemical Weapons Incidents

    Mar 21, 2022

    Social media can be collected instantly, can tap into a massive pool of observers, and is remotely accessible. Researchers developed a new approach for analyzing social media data to derive insights about chemical incidents. They used chemical weapons employment in Syria as a test case.

  • Man thinking at his laptop, photo by Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

    Essay

    How to Avoid Extremism on Social Media

    May 3, 2022

    Extremist groups have been trolling the internet for decades, and they have learned to temper their words and disguise their intentions. A new scorecard can help users—or parents, or advertisers, or the social media companies themselves—understand when they might be interacting with extremist content.

Explore Social Media Analysis

  • A green wireframe model covers an actor's lower face during the creation of a synthetic facial reanimation video, aka a deepfake, in London, Britain, February 12, 2019, photo by Reuters TV

    Report

    The Threat of Deepfakes

    Various AI technologies are ripe for use in disinformation campaigns. Deepfake videos represent an obvious threat, but voice cloning, deepfake images, and generative text also merit concern. And websites now offer access to deepfake services.

    Jul 6, 2022

  • Illustration of network connections over Earth, image by Anton Balazh/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Russia's Information Warfare with the West

    Popular portrayals of the Russian disinformation machine imply an organized and well-resourced operation, but evidence suggests that it is neither. Nonetheless, Russian social media activity can be harmful to U.S. interests and is likely to evolve.

    Jun 7, 2022

  • Social media network over a world map, composite image by denisismagilov and Piotr Krzeslak/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Map of Online Violent Extremist Rhetoric Can Inform Counter-Efforts

    An analysis of White identity terrorism and racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism discourse on social media finds that this content is largely created and fueled by users in the United States. A national strategy to counter these threats is needed.

    Jun 7, 2022

  • Jessica Cecil listens as Mark Thompson speaks at the RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting in London, UK, May 6, 2022, video still from RAND Europe Council of Advisors meeting

    Blog

    Combating Disinformation by Bolstering Truth and Trust

    For Jessica Cecil, founder and former head of the Trusted News Initiative, today feels a bit like the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire, in which agreed-upon facts endure in only a few isolated places of elite discussion and there is no common language of politics. She spoke about the need for governments, companies, news organizations, and relevant civil society groups to work together to combat disinformation at a meeting of RAND Europe's Council of Advisors.

    May 24, 2022

  • Illustration of a woman sitting inside a glass dome surrounded by people screaming in megaphones, illustration by Feodora Chiosea/Getty Images

    Commentary

    'Truth Decay' in Europe Is Real, but Its Advance Can Be Slowed

    Though present in Europe, the evidence suggests that trends of Truth Decay are not as widespread or as pronounced as they are in the United States. There is still time for policymakers to intervene and limit their growth.

    May 17, 2022

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: May-June 2022

    The cover story explores what prison-based programs are available to help incarcerated parents and their children. Another feature examines ways to help social media users navigate the online extremist ecosystem.

    May 11, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Leveraging Machine Learning for Operation Assessment

    This report shows how machine learning (ML) can support assessment of military operations by describing and illustrating the use of ML in systematically extracting assessment-relevant insights from intelligence, operational, and media reporting.

    May 9, 2022

  • Blog

    How Data Can Help Refugees, Homelessness in L.A., Harm Reduction: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on tapping into Facebook data to help refugees, addressing homelessness in Los Angeles, understanding burnout among health care providers, and more.

    May 6, 2022

  • Ukrainian refugees arrive at the Przemysl, Poland, train station, March 3, 2022, photo by Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/Alamy

    Essay

    Tracking Migration Amid War and Disease

    Researchers from RAND and RAND Europe have been working on a way to better track migrant numbers, country by country and state by state, in almost real time. They do it by tapping into one of the largest information-gathering operations on the planet, Facebook.

    Apr 28, 2022

  • The U.S. Capitol at sunset on the eve of the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the building, in Washington, January 5, 2022, photo by Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

    Testimony

    Extremist Use of Online Spaces

    Extremist content can be found in all corners of the internet. How do the characteristics of online spaces contribute to individual radicalization? And how may the internet have helped foster conditions that contributed to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol?

    Apr 27, 2022

  • A U.S. Marine participates in nonlethal riot control training at the Baghdad Embassy Compound in Iraq, August 14, 2020, photo by Cpl. Thomas Spencer/U.S. Marine Corps

    Commentary

    Effective Use of Nonlethal Weapons Could Require Combating Disinformation

    The temporary and reversible effects of nonlethal weapons reduce the potential for collateral damage while mitigating the risk of inadvertent escalation in peacetime and gray-zone situations. But public perceptions can have powerful effects on how these systems are employed and the impact of their use.

    Apr 22, 2022

  • Illustration of online extremists by Jessica Arana/RAND Corporation from Sean Rayford/Alamy; dem10/Getty Images; sestovic/Getty Images; Dilok Klaisataporn/Getty Images; Comstock/Getty Images

    Report

    How Extremism Operates Online

    Extremist groups use internet-based tools for financing, networking and coordination, recruitment and radicalization, inter- and intra-group knowledge transfer, and mobilization to action. How do internet users engage with these efforts? And can the internet be leveraged to counter extremism?

    Apr 12, 2022

  • An application that helps Lithuanians to call Russians to discuss the war in Ukraine in an effort to help end the war, in Vilnius, Lithuania, March 9, 2022, photo by Janis Laizans/Reuters

    Commentary

    Keeping Russians Informed About Ukraine Could Help End This War

    Russia has taken increasingly aggressive actions to restrict access of information about the war in Ukraine. Ensuring that the Russian people know the truth about what their government is doing in Ukraine could bring this war to an end soon rather than later.

    Mar 14, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Conspiracy Theories Have Much in Common. Their Differences May Hold the Key to Identifying When They Turn Violent.

    RAND/Google collaboration to improve machine learning models to detect and understand the rhetorical functions of conspiracy theories over social media.

    Dec 22, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Using social media data to 'nowcast' international migration around the globe

    The aim of this study was to develop a tool to 'nowcast' migrant stocks by using real-time data from the Facebook Marketing Application Programming Interface (API) and official migration data from EU member states and states in the United States.

    Dec 16, 2021

  • Blog

    Addressing Anti-Asian Racism, Stabilizing U.S. Rivalries, the Debt-Ceiling Fight: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on countering anti-Asian racism, the instability of U.S. rivalries with Russia and China, the rise in extremist online activity, and more.

    Dec 3, 2021

  • A woman with a smartphone is seen in front of social media logos, May 25, 2021, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Report

    Understanding the Online Extremist Ecosystem

    By the early 2010s, it was clear that the internet provided white supremacists and other extremists a tool to operationalize their hateful ideas and cause real-world harms. How can the average user understand their risk of exposure to extremist content and make informed decisions about the platforms they use?

    Dec 2, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    What If Health Care Worked Like Everything Else?

    Editorial on peer-reviewed paper on WhatsApp use between PCPs and specialists by Israel army physicians.

    Dec 1, 2021