Social Media Analysis

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  • Virtual human 3D illustration with computer code, photo by monsitj/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Machine Learning Approach Could Help Counter Disinformation

    Jun 25, 2020

    Disinformation has become a central feature of the COVID-19 crisis. This type of malign information and high-tech “deepfake” imagery poses a risk to democratic societies worldwide by increasing public mistrust in governments and public authorities. New research highlights new ways to detect and dispel disinformation online.

  • Laptop depicting Russian propaganda on Facebook with a bullseye mark, images by guteksk7, iiierlok_xolms, carmelod, and FishPouch/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Facebook Users May Spread Russian Propaganda Less Often If They Know Its Source

    Oct 15, 2020

    Russian propaganda is hitting its mark on social media, generating strong partisan reactions that help intensify political divisions. But Facebook users are less apt to press the like button on content when they learn that it is part of a foreign propaganda campaign.

Explore Social Media Analysis

  • A line chart indicating a decline, with a government building in the background, images by Naypong Studio/Adobe Stock; design by Pete Soriano

    Report

    The Drivers of Institutional Trust and Distrust

    Trust in the government, news media, and other institutions has declined in the past two decades. What factors might explain this decline? And what else do we need to learn in order to begin rebuilding public trust?

    Nov 17, 2020

  • Surreal landscape with a split road and signpost arrows, photo by Bulat Silvia/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Three Under-the-Radar Lessons from COVID-19

    COVID-19 has sculpted into high relief already recognized societal problems, which could be addressed once COVID-19 passes. Failure to do so could be a failure to learn the meta-lessons from COVID-19.

    Nov 2, 2020

  • Female hand touching screen of the phone surrounded with social media notification icons, photo by nikolas_stock/AdobeStock

    Journal Article

    Social Media and Influence Operations Technologies: Implications for Great Power Competition

    Russia, China, and the so-called Islamic State are three key U.S. adversaries that have exploited online technologies for propaganda. This chapter reviews the aims, capabilities, and limitations of online propaganda for each of these entities.

    Oct 23, 2020

  • Increasing Connections. A closely connected network of people and technology. Illustration.

    Multimedia

    Using AI to Tackle Disinformation Online

    RAND Europe analyst Linda Slapakova talks with RAND senior behavioral scientist William Marcellino about their study on human-machine detection of online-based malign information.

    Oct 23, 2020

  • Blog

    Russian Propaganda, Domestic Terrorism, America's Electric Grid: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how Americans react to Russian memes on Facebook, the possibility of domestic terrorism during election season, protecting the U.S. electric grid, and more.

    Oct 16, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Facebook Users May Spread Russian Propaganda Less Often When They Are Aware of Its Source

    Russian propaganda is hitting its mark on social media—generating strong partisan reactions that may help intensify political divisions—but Facebook users are less apt to press the “like” button on content when they learn that it is part of a foreign propaganda campaign.

    Oct 15, 2020

  • Blog

    Election Interference on Twitter, Insulin Prices, Remote Learning: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on evidence of interference in the 2020 election on Twitter, U.S. insulin prices compared to those of other countries, how parents can help their kids' education stay on track during the pandemic, and more.

    Oct 9, 2020

  • Overlapping silhouettes of mobile phone users, illustration by smartboy10/Getty Images

    Report

    Foreign Actors Are Again Using Twitter to Interfere with the U.S. Election

    After the 2016 U.S. election it became clear that Russian agents had engaged in online efforts to sow chaos and inflame partisan divides among Americans. Interference is happening again now. It includes posts from trolls—fake personas spreading hyper-partisan themes—and superconnectors designed to spread messages quickly.

    Oct 8, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Coordinated Efforts on Twitter to Interfere in the U.S. Presidential Election Are Likely Foreign

    A coordinated effort on Twitter to influence the upcoming U.S. presidential election—using trolls (fake personas that spread hyper-partisan themes) and super-connectors (highly-networked accounts)—aims to sow distrust, exacerbate political divisions and undermine confidence in American democracy.

    Oct 8, 2020

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a video conference call with officials and public representatives of the region of Dagestan amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia May 18, 2020, photo by Alexei Nikolsky/Reuters

    Report

    How Russia Targets U.S. Elections

    In this campaign season, Russia might try to manipulate U.S. voters through social media as it did in 2016. New technologies have made these efforts easier. Russia's tactics aim to polarize Americans, create distrust, and paralyze the political process. What is the best defense against them?

    Oct 1, 2020

  • Russian Interference in the 2020 U.S. Election (Crop)

    Multimedia

    Russian Interference in the 2020 U.S. Election

    RAND military sociologist Marek Posard describes several broad risks of foreign interference in American democracy and explains how Russia may use reflexive control theory to cause disruption in the 2020 U.S. Election.

    Oct 1, 2020

  • The logo of the social network application TikTok and a US flag shown on a mobile device screen in Miami, Florida, September 18, 2020, photo by Johnny Louis/Reuters

    Commentary

    Could Time Be Up for TikTok?

    Is it possible for ByteDance to maintain ownership in TikTok Global while ameliorating U.S. national security concerns? At the heart of any deal should be a highly technical agreement on data security issues—one that not only the two companies but the two governments might have to agree to.

    Sep 24, 2020

  • Silhouette of several militants with rifles, photo by zabelin/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Are Counter Violent Extremism Interventions Effective?

    Government efforts to counter the propaganda and radicalization that lead to violent extremism are becoming more common around the world, but there's little research on whether such programs work. It is critical to conduct more research to tease out which programs are most effective.

    Sep 11, 2020

  • A mobile phone near an illustration of a network

    Report

    Countering Violent Extremism in Indonesia: Using an Online Panel Survey to Assess a Social Media Counter-Messaging Campaign

    This report presents the results of an evaluation designed to assess the effects of countering violent extremism–themed social media content used in a campaign to promote tolerance, freedom of speech, and rejection of violence in Indonesia.

    Sep 9, 2020

  • Twitter logo and binary cyber codes, November 26, 2019, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Insider Threat at Twitter Is a Risk to Everyone

    Three young hackers were charged in the hijacking of dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts. Their tactics point out how vulnerabilities at tech platforms can pose a risk to national security.

    Aug 7, 2020

  • Examples of Facebook pages displayed during a House Intelligence Committee meeting on Russian use of social media to influence U.S. elections in Washington, D.C., November 1, 2017, photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    Commentary

    How You Can Fight Russia's Plans to Troll Americans During Campaign 2020

    The goal of Russian interference is to trigger emotional reactions and drive people to ideological extremes, making it nearly impossible to build a consensus. But Americans are less likely to have their emotions manipulated if they are aware that manipulation is the goal.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Blog

    The Postal Service, Election Security, Reducing Child Deaths: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the role of the U.S. Postal Service, preparing for the presidential election, reducing child deaths in Nigeria, and more.

    Jun 26, 2020

  • Illustration of social media users and trolls, image by dem10/Getty Images

    Report

    Machine Learning Can Help Detect Misinformation Online

    As social media is increasingly being used as a primary source for news, there is a rising threat from the spread of malign and false information. A new machine learning model identified differences between authentic political supporters and Russian trolls shaping online debates about the 2016 U.S. election. How could the model be applied in the future?

    Jun 23, 2020