Created by and for the activist community

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© 2019 Disarm Disinformation

A few basics

What is it?

Disinformation

dis·​in·​for·​ma·​tion | \ (ˌ)dis-ˌin-fər-ˈmā-shə

False information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth (Merriam Webster)

A brief explainer

Terminology

Troll refers to any person who uses internet tools to deliberately sow discord, spread disinformation or even merely to harass or ridicule others. A single troll can manage hundreds of fake accounts. 

 

Bot refers to code that's been designed to automate interactive, routine processes such as sharing, posting, responding to online content. Programmed bots can repeat processes, such as likes, shares and even comments, at incredibly high speeds. Because they are automated, bots are also easier to detect.

Sock Puppet refers to an online persona that is run by a troll and exists for the purpose of influencing, disrupting and pushing views. A single troll will often work with multiple sock puppets so that a content that is posted can quickly appear to have many supporters.

Troll Farm refers to an organization of trolls that are simultaneously creating, posting, testing and amplifying online content. Disinformation campaigns, such as the Russian campaign that targeted the 2016 US election, were run by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), which functioned as a troll farm running thousands of fake accounts and personas.