Understanding Information Operations with Twitter Data: A Workshop Series

In 2018, Twitter first released a large archive of tweets and media from Russian and Iranian troll farms. This archive of information operations (IO) has since been expanded to include activity originating from more than 15 countries. Totalling more than 54,000 accounts, 160 million tweets, and over 8 TB of images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, the dataset is extensive and offers researchers unique insight into how IO unfolds on the service. For more on the datasets, visit Twitter’s public archive.

The Carnegie Partnership for Countering Influence Operations (PCIO) and Twitter will co-host a series of virtual workshops to grant exceptional researchers the opportunity to present their cutting-edge work on IO datasets to a community of scholars and leading experts in IO. The aim of the workshops is to support an open exchange of ideas among the research community regarding how IO can be better understood, analyzed, and mitigated.

Topics will include:

  • Analysis of how and why IO and/or counter-IO activities become impactful
  • Analysis of adversary and/or platform account owner behaviors, trends, and emerging risks
  • Exploitation and/or mitigation of platform vulnerabilities
  • Analysis of how IO and/or counter-IO activities interact with off and cross-platform activities
  • Impact on at-risk communities, including targeting of journalists and activists
  • Analysis from product, policy, ethical, legal, and/or regulatory perspectives
  • Innovative and experimental research design and digital methodologies, including open-source intelligence (OSINT) analysis methods
  • Methods for measuring and evaluating IO and/or counter-IO effectiveness

Submission instructions

An extended abstract of 2-pages A4, detailing the aim and research questions, theoretical/disciplinary standpoints, methodology, empirical data, and results. Longer submissions or submissions that fail to address these points will not be considered. Email to iopartnership@ceip.org. The deadline for submission is August 30, and notifications to successful applicants will be sent shortly afterwards.

  • Papers MUST use the Twitter IO dataset as the primary empirical material.
  • Papers should be innovative and make clear theoretical, methodological, analytical, and/or practical contributions to the body of research addressing information operations.
  • Papers may represent any theoretical and disciplinary standpoints. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.
  • Papers should demonstrate methodological rigor to the standards of a double-blind peer-reviewed journal.
  • Papers will be reviewed by a distinguished scientific committee.

A small number of these papers will be selected by the scientific committee for publication in a series of working papers after the event and granted an honorarium. The workshops will be held virtually during 2020.

Workshop Series

This workshop series is co-organized by the Carnegie Partnership for Countering Influence Operations and Twitter. The scientific committee is composed of James Pamment and Martin Innes.

  • Workshop

    Understanding Information Operations with Twitter Data Launch Event

    • July 09, 2020
    • Live Online

    As the first event in a series of workshops on research exploring information operations, the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations and Twitter invite you to back-to-back panels featuring expert speakers. This session will feature two keynote panels outlining the central problems and issues with information operations.

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