The Internet

Featured

  • An illustration depicting the difference between light and darkness, image by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    What You Can Do to Help Stop Truth Decay

    Mar 29, 2022

    Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts in American public life, isn't a problem that any one person can fix. But there are simple steps that individuals can take to help counter it.

  • 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 The Internet

  • Boston Public School teacher Princess Bryant teaches her kindergarten class via video-conference from her apartment after schools were closed for the remainder of the school year because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 28, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Report

    The Digital Divide and COVID-19

    Findings from a survey of U.S. teachers reveal how limited home internet access has been a barrier to providing instruction amid pandemic-related school closures. The problem is particularly acute among high-poverty schools.

    Sep 24, 2020

  • Chinese flag with JavaScript code in the background, photos by daboost and mehaniq41/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How China Uses Big Data Analytics

    China's quest to become the global center for artificial intelligence starts with mastering big data analytics. Its aggressive strategy encompasses economic, military, police, and intelligence functions. Beijing is already using big data to survey the country's domestic population and enhance its military.

    Sep 1, 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

  • A man seated in front of a computer monitor in a dark room, photo by tommaso79/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Deadly Terrorist Threats Abound. Here Are the Key Dangers

    Today's self-selecting solo terrorists answer only to their god, whether seeking to destroy all government, pursuing racial separation or genocidal goals, expressing sexual dissatisfaction, or simply wanting to leave their mark. Military operations are irrelevant. This is a deeper societal problem.

    Jul 20, 2020

  • Blog

    Online Shopping, Living in a Riskier World, Stress in Communities: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Americans' online shopping habits during the pandemic, living in a riskier world, how stress builds in communities, and more.

    Jul 10, 2020

  • An Amazon worker delivers packages amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Denver, Colorado, April 22, 2020, photo by Kevin Mohatt/Reuters

    Report

    Online Shopping: Many Americans' Habits Haven't Changed During COVID-19

    Almost two-thirds of Americans haven't changed their online shopping habits since the pandemic began. About one-quarter are shopping online more, but 13 percent are actually shopping online less.

    Jul 7, 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

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

    Commentary

    A Machine Learning Approach Could Help Counter Disinformation

    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.

    Jun 25, 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

  • A woman shocked and upset by something on her phone, photo by AntonioGuillem/Getty Images

    Report

    Strategies for Countering Online Abuse

    Digital platforms that let users interact virtually and often anonymously have given rise to harassment and other criminal behaviors. Tech-facilitated abuse—such as nonconsensual pornography, doxing, and swatting—compromises privacy and safety. How can law enforcement respond?

    Jun 18, 2020

  • Illustration of people talking, public discourse, truth decay

    Multimedia

    COVID-19 Briefing Series: A Crisis of Disinformation

    RAND's Jennifer Kavanagh and Todd Helmus discuss the effect of the pandemic on public trust in important sources of information and institutions that provide information.

    May 22, 2020

  • A crowd of people surrounding images representing the news, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND

    Article

    What Americans Think of the News—and What That Means for Democracy

    RAND researchers asked a nationally representative sample of adults about their news-consumption habits. The answers reveal clues about what it might take to address Truth Decay—the decline of facts in U.S. public life.

    Apr 28, 2020

  • A teacher at a desk with a tablet and a laptop, photo by FluxFactory/Getty Images

    Report

    What Digital Materials Do Teachers Use?

    Digital materials for lesson planning and instruction are becoming an increasingly important resource for teachers. A survey of English language arts, mathematics, and science teachers across the United States provides insights on which materials they use and what they consider barriers to use.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • Graphic depicting quantum computing, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Article

    Quantum Computers Will Break the Internet, but Only If We Let Them

    Quantum computers are expected to be powerful enough to break the current cryptography that protects all digital communications. But this scenario is preventable if policymakers take actions now to minimize the harm that quantum computers may cause.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Two men looking at a phone and wearing face masks, photo by ozgurdonmaz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Contain the Disinformation Virus

    Like COVID-19, disinformation spreads only if we help it spread. While we have all been asked to stay at home as responsible citizens to contain the virus, we should also feel responsible for making it harder for disinformation to spread.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • News Release

    News Release

    Future Quantum Computers May Pose Threat to Today's Most-Secure Communications

    Quantum computers that are exponentially faster than any of our current classical computers and are capable of code-breaking applications could be available in 12 to 15 years, posing major risks to the security of current communications systems.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Green glowing qubits, computer generated abstract background, 3D rendering, photo by sakkmesterke/AdobeStock

    Report

    Securing Communications in the Quantum Computing Age

    Quantum computers are expected to revolutionize computing. But hackers may be able to use them to crack the encryption system that protects all digital communications. How soon could this scenario become a reality? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A man wearing a face mask looks at his phone at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, March 12, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Q&A

    Truth Decay in the Coronavirus Moment: Q&A with Jennifer Kavanagh

    Jennifer Kavanagh, who wrote the RAND book Truth Decay about the diminishing role that facts play in making important public policy decisions, calls the unfolding situation with the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 a worst-case scenario.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • A magnifying glass on a digital human hacker image, photo by monsitj/Getty Images

    Report

    Detecting Malign or Subversive Information Efforts over Social Media

    The United States has a capability gap in detecting malign or subversive information campaigns in time to respond before they influence large audiences. A novel method can now detect these efforts.

    Mar 16, 2020

  • Blog

    Coronavirus Outbreak, Drones, the U.S. Power Grid: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the intensifying coronavirus outbreak, cyber threats from drones, the vulnerabilities of the U.S. power grid, and more.

    Mar 6, 2020