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

    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.

    Mar 21, 2022

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

    Essay

    How to Avoid Extremism on Social Media

    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.

    May 3, 2022

Explore Social Media Analysis

  • Images of two White woman with a third image of their faces combined in the center, photo by FotografieLink/Getty Images

    Commentary

    America May Not Be Ready for the Looming Tsunami of Deepfakes

    Images and videos have been falsified since the first photographs were taken. But deepfakes are fundamentally different. Their realism, and the scale and ease with which they can be produced, make them incredibly potent disinformation tools.

    Nov 10, 2022

  • Elon Musk's twitter account on a smartphone in front of the Twitter logo, April 15, 2022, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Commentary

    Elon Musk May Have a Point About Bots on Twitter

    Twitter has a deep bench of engineers working for the company. They have access to trillions of data points on their over 300 million monthly active users. Why has a company this size struggled to clean up its platform?

    Sep 23, 2022

  • Hands typing on a laptop keyboard at night, photo by Zhanna Danilova/Getty Images

    Announcement

    Fake RAND Report on 'Weakening Germany'

    A supposedly leaked RAND report about a bizarre U.S. conspiracy to “weaken Germany” is fake. Genuine RAND research, analysis, and commentary on the war in Ukraine may be found at rand.org.

    Sep 14, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Information Warfare: Methods to Counter Disinformation

    We consider the nature of disinformation and its use in the hybrid warfare domain, before examining the problem through frames of planning approach, truth theory, systems thinking, and military strategy.

    Sep 8, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Back to School, Vaccinating Kids, Space Security: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the well-being of America's educators, the effort to vaccinate kids and teens, security in outer space, and more.

    Sep 2, 2022

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fencing in the Metaverse with an Olympic gold medal fencer in a video released October 28, 2021, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Facebook Misinformation Is Bad Enough. The Metaverse Will Be Worse

    Virtual reality environments such as the metaverse will enable psychological and emotional manipulation of users at a level unimaginable in today's media. We must not wait until these technologies are fully realized to consider appropriate guardrails for them. We can reap the benefits of the metaverse while minimizing its potential for great harm.

    Aug 22, 2022

  • Enrique Tarrio and the Proud Boys demonstrate near Freedom Plaza during the Million Maga March protest regarding election results, in Washington, D.C., November 14, 2020, photo by MediaPunch Inc/Alamy

    Research Brief

    A U.S. National Strategy Is Needed to Counter Violent Extremism

    Users in the United States are overwhelmingly responsible for racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE) discourse online. Strategies that focus on organizations or individuals likely will not work to counter REMVE because the movement is diffuse and leaderless.

    Aug 22, 2022

  • Hong Kong, photo by Lewis Tse Pui Lung/Adobe Stock

    Report

    An Exploratory Examination of Agent-Based Modeling for the Study of Social Movements

    The authors of this report explore the use of agent-based modeling as a method for studying the effects of information and communications technologies on the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of social movements over time.

    Aug 16, 2022

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    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