Disinformation Strategies and Tactics

Yesterday, I attended a presentation by Gabrielle Lim, Researcher at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. She presented Disinformation Strategies and Tactics at the Internet Freedom Festival’s Community Knowledge Share.

I wrote a more philosophical response in my blog, but I was struck by the difficulty in giving a name to this troublesome phenomenon. Can we combat something we cannot even name? Is it even possible to curb it given social media’s current incentive structure (I suggest it’s not). Mike Kujawski’s categories seem tidy, but may not be effective in practice:

  • Misinformation: information that is false, but created or shared with no intent to do harm to any particular individual, group, or organization.
  • Disinformation: information that is false and initially disseminated with the intention to do harm to an individual, group, or organization. Its effectiveness depends as much on an actor’s capacity to create as much as an audience’s receptivity.
  • Malinformation: information has basis in reality, but shared with the intention to manipulate and incite.

Are there communities where mis/dis/malinformation is less prevalent and can we use those as models to build a better internet?


I hope the open science collaborative work nowadays is all about correct information, but one still never knows (even many open access ‘pre-prints’ around covid-19 things are poorly disguised marketing efforts- people putting out patents are trying to sell their kits…).
I’m mainly writing this now to help me follow this thread and learn more!

Are you publishing similar research anywhere I can read it? Should I be looking at The Blog for AGiR!?

I spent a couple years working on this problem at Nextjournal. It’s quite a problem - pre-prints have been increasingly valuable but it’s usually impossible to see the work or access any data to run the experiments. Could better tools improve the publication of open science?

@schmudde and @rachel, thank you very much for this post. Would love to continue this conversation further!

I would also like to invite you to tomorrows discussion on how to read and interpret datasets and data visualisations in the context of COVID on the examples provided by DeLab.

After a short of presentation of their data throve we want to engage into a deep discussion on how to gather, question, read and interpret data and your perspective and especially questions would be very welcome there!

the Hackuarium work for the #coronadetective project so far is mainly open sci documentation and discussion in the JOGL slack (esp the working group nucleic acid amplification). The AGiR! work for open sourcing DNA damage detection is a mix between the genomicintegrity.org domain things and experiments at Hackuarium. Sadly, all sets of information are somehow mainly piling up as google drive documents, spreadsheets and more. I also use Evernote for experimental protocols (these get linked in drive docs too). Friends are working on ways to have apps that take in data live (for instance beach litter survey info) and make it easier to access and manipulate, ultimately for publication… Yes, better tools should help. Funnily, however, we actually just resubmitted some old Hackuarium work, that was open throughout the data acquisition etc, for peer review - thinking we might make a bit more impact. (but it is weird as the journal is brand new -we sort of got a ‘bait and switch’ because of a special call for ‘citizen science’ work - though we prefer to think about it as participatory research.) Anyway, fingers crossed, our study on water monitoring around Montreux Bay (2 summers of sampling) may come out eventually… in the old fashioned way. Maybe I haven’t really answered your question (but it is great if you are interested in the Blog for AGiR! and spread the word about dynamic activities in cells… :slight_smile:

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when and how are you planning this discussion? It sounds very interesting, but I already have plans to go to lab this afternoon and also have zooms from 6pm…
with the recent chaos on top of covid-19 in the states, I wonder how anxiety scores are doing now… <3

The call is for 90 min from 3rd June, 5PM CEST. It’s in collaboration with DeLab, Nesta and Edgeryders. If you are interested feel free to just pop in for an hour :).

3rd of June, 5PM CEST.

How to join:

Follow this link to sign up:


We will record this webinar for research purposes. You can find more information here: https://edgeryders.eu/t/13445

This might also be interesting:

they are doing one replay 4th June 9:00 CEST

I’m in the same situation as Rachel. I have a call at exactly 5pm and then a class at 7pm. I would love to attend an Edgeryders presentation soon. Is there a central calendar somewhere?

I suppose there are these weekly updates like Is Coronavirus the tipping point for our already imbalanced system??? Is that what I should be looking at?

Jesus. Capitalism is like King Midas in reverse: it turns to s##t everything it touches.

I like to use Jupyter Notebooks (or other notebooks if you don’t like Python). Markdown text + live code… perfect for science.

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There is a weekly overview of the discussion in IOH posted every Wednesday evening. It is usually pinned for 1-2 weeks and you can search for it with “weekly-overview-ioh” and a newsletter like Is Coronavirus the tipping point for our already imbalanced system??? will also be posted regularly in future more focused on one specific topic at the time.

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it isn’t possible for me today, but will hopefully catch more in the future.
: -)

this is the latest of a string… not all bad, still…

sorry, gotta run!
(can’t join in call)