Influence operations are a complex threat, and the community combating them—academics, social platforms, think tanks, governments—is broad. The goal of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations (PCIO) is to foster evidence-based policymaking to counter threats in the information environment. Key roadblocks as found in our work include the lack of: transparency reporting to inform what data is available for research purposes; rules guiding how data can be shared with researchers and for what purposes; and an international mechanism for fostering research collaboration at-scale.

Our Influence Operations Researchers’ Guild aims to build an international community of investigators, working with them to articulate standards and shared principles for their work.

Membership in the Guild conveys a high standard of investigatory quality recognized by other experts in this field. Applications for membership are evaluated by an external review committee, and members commit to principles including accuracy in investigatory methods, ethical approaches to the collection and storage of personal data, a spirit of collaboration within the community, and the promotion of a diverse field of researchers.

Learn more about the Guild’s work and application process.

Evidence-based policymaking depends on measurements. But we lack robust, evidence-based measurements of influence operations’ spread, their effects, and the effectiveness of countermeasures needed to support community resilience and appropriate policy interventions.

To address this gap, PCIO and the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project at Princeton University convened three working groups with more than 40 researchers from North America, Europe, and Latin America, producing six studies. The project culminated in a Measurements Symposium with more than 60 participants from across the research community, government, and philanthropies.

Digital platforms control their data and researchers struggle to access it for research purposes. Even when data is available, the relationship between industry and researchers is imbalanced. PCIO is working with a multi-stakeholder community to develop a comprehensive transparency reporting framework, including policy ideas for regulators, to ensure independence for researchers. We do this through:

  • A Working Group on Evidence-Based Policymaking: Bringing 30 participants from governments, philanthropy, and the research community to provide detailed guidance on transparency reporting, rules for data-access, and research collaboration.
  • The Action Coalition on Meaningful Transparency: An inclusive multistakeholder network started with the support of the Danish Foreign Ministry, and steered by DFRLab, the Global Network Initiative, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the Centre for Democracy and Technology, and the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations.
  • Participation in the Global Internet Forum for Countering Terrorism’s Transparency Working Group and the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Global Platform Governance Network.
  • George Perkovich

    Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Chair
    Vice President for Studies
  • Alicia Wanless

    Director
    Partnership for Countering Influence Operations
    Nonresident Scholar
    Technology and International Affairs Program
  • Victoria Smith

    Nonresident Senior Research Analyst
    Technology and International Affairs Program
  • Jon Bateman

    Fellow
    Cyber Policy Initiative
  • Jennifer Davis

    Visiting Scholar
    Technology and International Affairs Program
  • Dean Jackson

    Project Manager
    Influence Operations Researchers Guild
  • Jen Rosiere Reynolds

    Project Director
    Research on the Information Environment
    Technology and International Affairs Program
  • Nanjira Sambuli

    Fellow
    Technology and International Affairs Program

The partnership takes a multi-stakeholder approach to solving complex problems, which starts with fostering community. We have engaged hundreds of stakeholders around the world and continue to grow a network of influence operations investigators through our Guild. Additionally, each month the PCIO and Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy convene a brainstorming session called “The Sphere of Influence,” drawing on a community of more than 80 participants.

Meet Our Advisers

PCIO has convened an advisory group of leading experts from industry, media, academia, and civil society to complement Carnegie’s global network of researchers. Advisory group members participate in their individual capacities and provide strategic advice in the development of new projects and publications. Learn More >

Meet Our Partnership Liaisons

PCIO has also established institutional partnerships to promote international, cross-sectoral consensus on key issues. Our partner organizations have designated liaisons to support our work and are invited to participate in relevant projects on a case-by-case basis. Learn More >

 

Thank you to our supporters

Carnegie’s Partnership for Countering Influence Operations is grateful for funding provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and WhatsApp. The PCIO is wholly and solely responsible for the contents of its products, written or otherwise. We welcome conversations with new donors. All donations are subject to Carnegie’s donor policy review. We do not allow donors prior approval of drafts, influence on selection of project participants, or any influence over the findings and recommendations of work they may support.

 

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