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17 July, 2023

WhatsApp Truth Squad: Tackle Disinformation One Message At A Time

icon disinfo,facebook,Meta,WhatsApp
WhatsApp Truth Squad: Tackle Disinformation One Message At A Time

WhatsApp is the ideal platform to spread disinformation. AI makes it even more dangerous.

Bad actors target disinfo to WhatsApp groups that only group members can see and are closed to the public. Bad actors use AI to tailor the message to their target audience to make them more believable. WhatsApp/META has few checks on disinformation so harmful messages go viral before they're detected by fact checkers. It's even harder to track and counter WhatsApp disinfo in language other than English. It's a dangerous combination.

Indian American Impact (IAI) fights disinformation on WhatsApp with the help of the Meedan service. Meedan is a global technology not-for-profit that addresses the crisis of information trust and harmful content through tools that quickly verify content and provide a rapid response.

How do you collect possible disinformation from closed WhatsApp groups? How can the accuracy of messages be quickly verified? How can the truth be shared with people in that WhatsApp group? This is how IAI fights WhatsApp disinfo with Meedan.

How Indian American Impact fights WhatsApp disinfo with Meedan

How it works

Imagine a message like दूध पिएं is posted into a closed WhatsApp group. Most fact checkers wouldn't see it, and unless you spoke Hindi wouldn't understand it. (It means 'Drink Milk'.

Then someone posts कोविड से बचने के लिए पिएं दूध which means 'Drink milk to avoid COVID'.
An IAI volunteer in the WhatsApp group which this message was posted is suspicious. They report it to Meedan via WhatsApp.
The Meedan chatbot automatically checks the message against a network of fact checkers to see if it is true.
The chatbot sends a WhatsApp message back to the volunteer telling him that it is false.
The volunteer posts the correct message back into their WhatsApp group to correct the disinfo.
Meedan works globally and supports fact-checkersin 10 countries and 17 languages.

Meedan

Meedan is a global technology not-for-profit that builds software and programmatic initiatives to strengthen journalism, digital literacy, and accessibility of information online and off. It develops open-source tools for creating and sharing context on digital media through annotation, verification, archival, and translation.

  • It addresses the crisis of information trust and harmful content through better workflows and tools that help teams contextualize and verify content, with quick turnarounds and broad reach.
  • Meedan works with civil society organizations through capacity building efforts that help maximize their ability to engage with the new dynamics of the internet while ensuring their own sustainability as organizations.
  • It seeks to generate data sets and qualitative findings that enable research, expand knowledge, and build practical responses for contemporary information challenges.

Volunteer powered Truth Squad

"DesiFacts, is a project of Indian American Impact and the first South Asian American fact-checking website.  It regularly publishes articles (in Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil, too!) that fact-check the latest claims going viral on WhatsApp, social media kits and graphics you can use to proactively spread accurate content in your own networks, and resources for how to identify fake news, we hope DesiFacts is your one-stop shop for combating the onslaught of misinformation in South Asian communities. 

Want a claim fact-checked and written about on DesiFacts? Contact us or send a message to our WhatsApp tip line at +1-610-580-0377. 

JOIN their VOLUNTEER WHATSTRUE CREW! to curb the spread of misinformation. You’ll join a community of other volunteers ready to proactively counteract misinformation by spreading accurate updates via a multilingual website and WhatsApp messaging. We’ll also share weekly tips for how to counter misinformation with your friends and family. No experience necessary– there’s a role for everyone so sign up today to learn more!

Facebook spreads disinformation

How AI makes WhatsApp disinfo more dangerous

Jason Goldman is the former Chief digital officer in the Obama White House. He was earlier at Twitter and Google. He explains in a YouTube video interview who AI created disinfo could disrupt the 2024 election.

"...Presidential campaigns uh are decided by relatively few number of people in in very well known places and so all you need to do is try to figure out something that kind of continually pushes that group um using some kind of you know using some some kind of synthetic media and that's like a net positive and it's very cheap to do that and you can do that in a non-overt way you can just find the right you know WhatsApp group you can find the right um you know Facebook group and you can just kind of sort of create a trickle of content before it's even detected as being fake you know there's this there..."

TakeAway: Recruit volunteers on WhatsApp groups to fight disinformation with Meedan just like Indian American impact.

Deepak
DemLabs

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.

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Musk makes Twitter a platform for conspiracy theories and his tantrums. What can you do? Twitter is an ad platform that makes money selling your personal...

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2 Nov’ 2022

Test your disinfo spotting skills with this quiz after brutal attack on Paul Pelosi

Republicans use disinfo to hide their guilt in savage attack on Paul Pelosi. Test your skills with this quiz to spot their tricks. This quiz is...

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22 Oct’ 2022

Fox News character assassination playbook

How do the Murdochs manipulate public opinion with FOX to push their political agenda and get richer? Understand how billionaires manipulate the public through their media...

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7 Oct’ 2022

Facebook’s algorithm monetizes misery

"British Ruling Pins Blame on Social Media for Teenager’s Suicide" - NYT An inquest ruled that harmful online content contributed to the 14-year-old’s death. Ian Russell...

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30 Sep’ 2022

Halloween scares politicians use to trick voters

Don't fall for political scare tactics. Get the facts to make an informed decision. How do you share the facts so people can get them easily...

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25 Sep’ 2022

How to demolish extremist MAGA Republican arguments

Fight back with this three step tactic straight from their playbook: Connect. Pivot. Counterattack. How do you respond to this gem from Ted Cruz for instance?...

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2 Sep’ 2022

WHATABOUT the MAGA STRAWMAN with the FALSE FLAG?

Don't fall for it! Learn to recognize the verbal tricks MAGA Republicans use to manipulate you. See if you can spot the tricks used in these...

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25 Aug’ 2022

Answer questions automatically with a Twitter bot

Help people get the facts with Twitter bots that respond automatically when tweeted a question. Bots interact with people in different ways - voice call, text...

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15 Aug’ 2022

Ask politicians hardball questions

Your tax dollars pay politicians' salaries. Ask hardball questions so they can't dodge giving you a straight answer. Republicans would rather not talk about their abortion...

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13 Aug’ 2022

Test your BULLSHIT METER with this Mar-a-Lago quiz

How good is your bullshit meter? Find out with this quiz. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to...

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6 Aug’ 2022

Track political Facebook ad campaigns for free with Ad Observatory

What ads are campaigns being run on Facebook? When? Where? By whom? Explore political advertising across Facebook and Instagram with the free Ad Observatory app from...

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23 Jul’ 2022

How to deal with deceptive political arguments

Push back against deceptive arguments that use false flags, strawmen and whataboutism to manipulate you. Learn how to spot bogus arguments being used to manipulate you...

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14 Jun’ 2022

Learn to spot and counter these seven right wing trolling tricks

Don't let trolls hijack conversations. "Refuse to play their game, and insist on a different one entirely—an approach that also helped counter subcultural trolling. George Lakoff suggests reframe the discussion...

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12 Jun’ 2022

Do you want Murdoch to pick the next President?

Rupert Murdoch's papers and TV channels have a record of political character assassinations and scandals across the globe. Murdoch's NEWS CORP has been called a cancer...

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4 Jun’ 2022

Counterprogramming: Distract public attention to hide your role in the Jan 6th insurrection

'Flood the zone with shit' - Steve Bannon Counterprogramming tries to distract public attention (with BS) so people don't learn about the people behind the Jan...

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30 May’ 2022

Facebook sued. Why? Follow the money.

Facebook sued for selling its users' personal data for political manipulation. Facebook is accused of stalling news about how it mis-used data while four Facebook directors...

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28 May’ 2022

Fight WhatsApp disinfo with volunteer fact checking

WhatsApp messages are encrypted, spread instantly through closed groups making it the ideal platform for spreading disinfo. People trust messages posted on their WhatsApp closed groups....

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22 May’ 2022

Fight FOX propaganda. Strengthen the FCC

FOX News spreads conspiracy theories to sell ads while attacking the FCC - the federal agency that regulates media outlets like FOX. "The FCC is currently...

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10 May’ 2022

FOX uses Russian propaganda tricks to spread disinformation

The Russians are grandmasters at propaganda. FOX has adapted Russian tricks to make money by spreading disinformation that divides Americans. How does a cable channel that...

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15 Apr’ 2022

Facebook — Meta shareholders to vote on reducing misinformation

Facebook / Meta shareholders can vote until May 25, 10AM PDT to support Proposal 7, which compels the corporation to confront the cost of the harm...

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9 Apr’ 2022

Stop FOX streaming Russian propaganda to American military bases

"As Ukrainians fight for their lives, it's time to permanently remove pro-Putin propaganda from US military bases. Stop brainwashing our troops. As the GOP has embraced...

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2 Apr’ 2022

Five practical ways to fight FOX spreading propaganda

Fox News opinion programs are the biggest source of disinformation. DDAD Defenders of Democracy Against Disinfo is a grassroots, nonprofit group. They have analyzed how Fox...

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23 Mar’ 2022

Stop paying FOX to spread Russian propaganda #UNFOXmycablebox

How do cable companies force you to pay for FOX even if you don't watch? How does FOX use your money to spread Russian propaganda? What...

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6 Mar’ 2022

DeSantistan : Crowdsourced news fights the Supreme Leader’s propaganda

How do you fight a propaganda machine? Have volunteers crowdsource the facts and make it easy for the public to see what's really going on. A...

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26 Feb’ 2022

Facebook spreads right wing disinfo ignoring its own policies

Why does Facebook spread right wing disinformation ignoring its own policies? Follow the connections. Popular Info exposed how the DC Enquirer gets so much exposure on...

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23 Feb’ 2022

Google’s lucrative hypocrisy explained

How does Google profit from advertising phony offers targeting seniors without facing any consequence? Google's code of conduct used to be 'Do no evil'. Google has...

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7 Feb’ 2022

Legitimate Political Discourse isn’t mob violence

G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ "The Republican National Committee voted to censure Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for participating in the inquiry...

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6 Feb’ 2022

Spotify boycott grows as more artists protest their music being used to fund racism. Follow the money.

Follow the money to see how Spotify exploits musicians by paying them $0.0033 per song streamed while paying Rogan $100 million for a podcast with racism...

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4 Feb’ 2022

Fight disinformation. Demand AdTech platforms stop funding sites that spread racism and hate.

Amazon, Google and Facebook report billions in ad revenues. Right wing websites spread hate, racism and COVID conspiracy theories. What's the connection? Right wing groups use...

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2 Feb’ 2022

Twelve trusted resources on disinformation and other threats to democracy

Fighting the dark side? Trusted guide you will use. Take a trusted guide whether you're fighting Darth Vader destroying galaxies or the dark forces attacking American...

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30 Jan’ 2022

Spotify removes Neil Young over COVID misinfo protest. Follow the money to see why.

"Spotify removes Neil Young following rocker’s protest over COVID-19 misinformation" - PBS “I realized I could not continue to support Spotify’s life-threatening misinformation to the music...

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21 Jan’ 2022

Jan 6 Insurrection Map expands with new information

The Jan 6 Committee has issued more indictments and is questioning more people as the investigation expands. The relationship map has been expanded to include this...

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20 Jan’ 2022

Describe the Jan 6th insurrection and election sabotage clearly with the right messaging frame

Use the right messaging to explain the Jan 6th insurrection and how the people behind it are now passing bills to steal our freedom to vote....

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18 Jan’ 2022

Follow the money Spotify makes streaming COVID misinfo

Over 2,000 Americans die from COVID every day. Yet, Spotify continues to stream COVID misinformation. Why? Follow the money. "Hundreds of scientists, professors and public health...

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16 Jan’ 2022

Jan 6 Insurrection map of the people and money behind the plot to overthrow an election

Follow the money to trace who did what in the Jan 6th insurrection and how they were funded. Get the big picture as the evidence and...

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10 Jan’ 2022

Defund the Jan 6th insurrection profiteers

How do you make money promoting a violent insurrection? Advertising. Conspiracies and disinformation thrive online. Who are the worst culprits? Who funds them? What can be...

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8 Jan’ 2022

Hate has consequences

Hate mongers pay a price when exposed. How do you find out about racists and white supremacists who would rather stay anonymous? One People's Project (OPP) monitors...

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3 Jan’ 2022

Disinformation 101

How to Spot Fake News: A Disinformation Check List Vaccination is a good defense against COVID. Inoculation works similarly and builds your resistance against being infected...

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27 Dec’ 2021

“How to make gazillions spreading misinformation with algorithms like Facebook” — Dr. Evil

Spreading misinformation is a money making scheme. Just ask Dr. Evil* His secret guide explains (along with real examples) how to make gazillions spreading spreading misinformation...

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23 Dec’ 2021

The FCC should hold Facebook accountable for spreading COVID misinfo

The media influences people's decision on whether to get vaccinated. Some media companies make money from COVID misinformation by selling more ads. The FCC regulates TV...

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18 Dec’ 2021

Republican obstruction prevents FCC regulation of COVID misinformation platforms

800,000 Americans dead from COVID. Republicans serve their billionaire media donors and block the FCC from enforcing its mandate to serve the 'public interest'. When do...

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16 Dec’ 2021

Lawsuits punish domestic terrorists and conspiracists

How can domestic terrorists and conspiracists be made to pay for the harm they cause? Law suits that claim damages. This blog shares groups fighting violence...

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11 Dec’ 2021

Follow the dark money funding ELECTION SABOTAGE

Election sabotage isn't cheap. Follow the dark money funding media outlets spreading disinformation and corporate politicians willing to sabotage elections for their billionaire donors. The scheme...

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30 Nov’ 2021

Billionaire owned media outlets distort news to favor the rich

Image: Succession on HBO Unemployment is at all time lows. Working families get more healthcare and money for childcare. Vaccinations save lives. But you'd never know....

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26 Nov’ 2021

Project Veritas agent? Check their identity with free Google facial recognition.

'Project Veritas sting operations employ people who mask their real identities to infiltrate target organizations.' (NYT). Check to see if you're being targeted with free Google...

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23 Nov’ 2021

Use ethnic media outlets to reach minority communities

Ethnic news outlets offer relevant and accurate news coverage to their communities. They counter-balance the negative messages and racist story selection from some large corporate news...

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9 Nov’ 2021

How Google helps spread right wing disinformation

Billionaires get a tax deduction for funding sites spreading disinfo! Google promotes the sites in search rankings getting them more exposure. What gives? Follow the money....

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2 Nov’ 2021

Joel Kaplan: Zuck’s fixer and GOP operative

Facebook spreads Republican disinformation and promotes right-wing conspiracy theories. Meet Joel Kaplan, Republican operative and Zuckerberg fixer. "Kaplan is Facebook's vice president of global public policy. He...

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26 Oct’ 2021

Zuckerberg sings ‘Oops… I did it again’ in spoof of Brittany classic

Funny videos go far on social media. Spread your message with videos created with the free iMovie app. "For Zuckerberg, profit trumps free speech. Zuckerberg frequently deflects...

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24 Oct’ 2021

COVID collateral damage map of politicians ready to sacrifice your life to get re-elected

45 million confirmed COVID cases. Over 735,000 deaths as of 10/24/21. Yet Republican Governors and 24 Attorney Generals oppose vaccinations? Check the facts and decide whose...

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3 Oct’ 2021

FOX News advertisers fund Tucker Carlson spreading racism and COVID disinfo

Who are FOX's biggest advertisers supporting Tucker Carlson spreading racism? Which FOX directors are connected with Stanford, Georgetown and The Nature Conservancy? How do people and...

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20 Sep’ 2021

Will there be a hospital bed available if you need it?

Ambulances wait for hours to get patients into overcrowded hospitals. Even the vaccinated are denied medical treatment because hospitals are filled with COVID patients - many...

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14 Sep’ 2021

Amazon’s lethal COVID hypocrisy

Amazon Leadership Principles declare "Leaders leave things better than how they found them." At the same time Amazon sells books that cast doubt on COVID vaccinations,...

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30 Aug’ 2021

COVID conspiracy playbook revealed

Conspiracies like COVID are contagious and can be fatal. Learn to spot conspiracy symptoms and how they're spread. Conspiracies manipulate people based on their desire to...

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23 Aug’ 2021

Fight gaslighting. Replay what they said before.

Some people try to rewrite history by denying what they said. Keep them honest by replaying their own words. There's an app for that. The best...

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7 Aug’ 2021

Disinfo kills

Why do people believe fatal lies? How is disinformation cooked up? Who profits from it? What can be done? How are people still falling for disinfo...

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18 Jul’ 2021

Blood on their hands

COVID is an equal opportunity killer. It doesn't care who you voted for, or even if you voted at all. Death isn't a political issue. Should...

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28 Jun’ 2021

Capitol insurrectionists top FBI’s Most Wanted List, while Republicans deny it happened

As rioters from the Capitol Insurrection top the FBI's most wanted list, Republican's deny that the attack even took place. "On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the U.S....

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30 Mar’ 2021

Friends don’t let anti-vaxxer friends stay at risk. Conversation guide shows how to engage.

Friends don't let friends stay at risk. How do you engage with an anti-vaxxer with so much COVID disinformation? Arguing with the facts against disinformation doesn't...

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29 Mar’ 2021

Are you being tricked into funding the spread of disinformation? Check the GDI Index.

Groups spreading disinformation siphon funds meant for legitimate advertising. Ad networks like Google and Facebook are complicit and make money when they direct ads and revenue...

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20 Mar’ 2021

Racism has consequences

Eight people including six Asian women killed in racist shooting spree with a gun bought hours earlier. This isn't a random event. Hate crimes against Asian...

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11 Mar’ 2021

Think different to persuade more people

Polarized voters. People trapped in information bubbles. Corporations making billions spreading disinformation in order to sell more ads. How do you get heard when calling and...

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18 Feb’ 2021

Fighting disinfo? Coordinate a rapid response with shared talking points.

Disinfo requires a rapid, broad spread response. Get talking points to supporters for them to spread the truth and have their messages reinforce each other. A...

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16 Feb’ 2021

From Russian With Love: Disinformation Playbook

The Russians are disinformation grandmasters. Learn how to guard against them by studying how they're being used in American politics. Learn how these moves are used...

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4 Feb’ 2021

How to win friends and influence people — with free internet service

Disinformation kills. It poisons minds with COVID conspiracy theories and distrust of health experts. It is worst in poor, rural communities where people do not have...

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28 Jan’ 2021

Fighting disinformation? Eighteen free weapons for your arsenal.

Fighting disinformation? Use all the tools in your arsenal. Here are eighteen of the best. Disinformation basics Disinformation attacks involve these tactics according to Harmony Square:-...

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17 Jan’ 2021

Stories poisoned to spread disinformation

People love stories and sharing them with others. That's what makes stories poisoned with disinformation so dangerous. Tackle disinformation by training people to spot when they're...

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6 Jan’ 2021

Trumpland? Meet the Republicans and their corporate donors trying to overturn election results.

"Eleven Republican senators and senators-elect said that they would vote to reject President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory ... to defy the unambiguous results of the...

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14 Dec’ 2020

How YouTube spreads COVID Disinformation

290,000 Americans have already died from COVID-19, yet people protest wearing masks and are skeptical of vaccinations. How does disinformation manipulate people into risky behavior? Who...

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6 Dec’ 2020

Vaccinate against disinformation

Foreign interference and domestic politics use disinformation to divide, incite and manipulate. It's cheap, effective and hard to counter. Learn how to spot it and inoculate...

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2 Dec’ 2020

How to spot BS being used to manipulate public opinion

Disinformation often comes as Bullshit (BS) packaged to trick readers with impressive language, graphics and bogus logic. Spot and push back with tips from Calling Bullshit. How...

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28 Nov’ 2020

How to spot a disinformation zombie

Brad Pitt races to save virus infected zombies in World War Z. Back in the real world, disinformation is used to turn people into zombies immune...

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