The Disinformation Action Lab (DAL) at Data & Society attempts to find innovative approaches to addressing some the complex dynamics underpinning the spread of propaganda and disinformation.
This work is being undertaken in concert with a range of partners in the research, industry, and civil society communities. The projects created under this umbrella are designed to operate as collaborative experiments in order to find innovative solutions to complex problems. The Lab is launching with two pilot projects in 2018:
Pilot #1: Data Integrity Project
This pilot focuses on improving feedback loops about adversarial actors who are strategically deploying disinformation with the intention of attacking longstanding civil society institutions. Collaborations between core stakeholders and tech companies include: analysis of historical query data; consultations with civil society groups on how to leverage platforms for messaging; and the ongoing interpretation of data produced by those seeking to undermine these institutions.
Pilot #2: Filling Data Voids
Data Voids brings together artists, comedians, developers, and journalists to explore fun and tactical ways to fill data voids; a term used by search companies to indicate a query that is 1) not run very often, 2) has little legitimate content associated with it, and/or 3) produces an intentionally manipulative autocomplete response. Through humor and redirection, this experiment seeks to offer alternative paths for those who end up in darker places on the internet.
Search plays a unique role in modern online information systems. Unlike with social media, where users primarily consume algorithmically curated feeds of information, the typical approach to a search... read more