This research project funded by the Omidyar Network was:

  • To gain a deeper understanding of the nature of dangerous content on encrypted messaging apps
  • To generate methodological insights into how best to study dangerous content on these platforms, and in particular the value of data gathered from tiplines and public groups
  • To develop Check to enable the rapid generation of descriptive statistics and exploratory analysis of encrypted messages for journalists, researchers and policymakers
  • To build and test a legal and ethical framework for the collection and use of encrypted messaging data

Key outcomes from this project include:

  • A new state-of-the-art approach to finding social media messages making similar claims across multiple languages.
  • Detailed analysis showing tiplines are a valuable way to study misinformation on end-to-end encrypted platforms. In particular, we find tiplines capture a meaningful proportion of the most viral content, and, most significantly, this content often appeared on the tipline before appearing in the public groups 
  • Improvements to Check to allow fact-checking organizations to more quickly discover, prioritize, and respond to misinformation.
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Program
Date of activity
2020
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