Open-source contribution to the Disinformation Database

At DisinfoDB we would like to help people understand how they’re being manipulated online. If you would like to join in with DisinfoDB, you can! Send me a message on Twitter (@DisinfoDB) and we can sort things out. In the meantime, here are some of the things that you can do with DDB:

Write Tactic Profiles

Tactic Profiles are accessible summaries of tactics used in the spread of information disorder (you can read about why we think tactic profiles are a good idea here). They can take quite a lot of work to make, so in an effort to prevent perfectionism getting in the way of making something good, we’ve broken down Profiles into the following “Stages”:

Stage 1

Stage 1 profiles exist to provide a structure / backbone for the database, and so that we can tag tactics in the Archives without having to go to the effort of writing a huge profile about it first.

At a minimum these contain:

  • The Tactic name
  • A sentence summary
  • Articles from the archives provisionally tagged with that Tactic
    • As a profile is upgraded from Stage 1 to 2, we will review and refine everything that’s been tagged, so that the tag changes from “We think it’s likely this reporting relates to this tactic” to “We know this reporting discusses this tactic / shows its usage in the real world”.

Stage 2

Stage 2 profiles are where we try hard to create accessible summaries of the tactic discussed, potentially including safe real-world examples of the tactic in action. We also pull out key reporting related to the tactic, which people can use as a launching point for their own investigations into the topic.

At a minimum these contain:

  • The Tactic name
  • An accessible summary of:
    • How the tactic works
    • The impact of a tactic when it is used in campaigns
    • Key articles & quotes
  • Articles from the archives tagged with that Tactic

Stage >3

We haven’t gotten to making any Stage 3 profiles yet! These will likely include things like mitigations against the tactic.

Add items to the Article Archives

In the Article Archives we collate and tag things that have already been written about information disorder, so that it’s easier to find real-world, historic reporting on a variety of topics.

If you like, you can find articles online and add them to the Archives (or even trawl through the articles I have in the backlog that I’d like to get in and tagged). I have found this (and writing Tactic Profiles) to be a really good way to learn about Disinformation, and think about how different campaigns use different narratives, themes, platforms, etc.

Write something

Sometimes we want to just write something about information disorder, unrelated to a particular tactic or article we’ve read online. If you would like a place to host a thing you’ve written, you can use DDB!