We want you to be informed about what we do, why it matters, and how it could help you. If you have a question that’s not on the list, please contact us.

Yes, technically; but it would be more accurate to say we work on addressing online manipulation. This is because we investigate efforts to manipulate information in the digital space.

Specialists and researchers describe disinformation as purposefully wrong information that is produced and circulated with the intent of achieving some sort of political, financial, or criminal benefit. So, the key characteristic of disinformation is not that it’s “wrong” or “right”, it’s that someone put it out there knowing it was false.

We realised early on that hateful, divisive, and defamatory content online didn’t spread across social media just because the content was of interest to people. We found that those trying to spread such information relied on digital tricks to make their content appear on as many timelines as possible. These tricks – such as posting the same content across multiple accounts or using fake followers to like and comment on content – leave a trail that we can find.

No. We don’t make any judgments on whether information is true or false. We only look for the manipulation.

Social media companies don’t like people manipulating their platforms. We find the activities that they already have rules against and encourage them to take whatever actions are already stipulated in their policies.

Although we are a company, we do not exist to maximise profit for shareholders. Instead, we prioritise positive social impact by undertaking projects we assess will address and reduce harm, either online or in the real world.

Disinformation – and online manipulation in general – are thought of as political issues. But as more of everyday life moves online, disinformation is becoming increasingly common across all walks of life. Commercial activity is a big growth area, with companies facing reputation attacks and efforts to manipulate their stock prices.

It’s not uncommon to hear about disinformation being used to bully or intimidate. However, beyond the individual level, disinformation has the potential to damage our social interactions and political processes.