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Tracking disinformation campaigns with human intelligence and AI

Leveraging its bird’s eye view of the digital information environment, NewsGuard extracts and catalogues the top misinformation narratives spreading online. NewsGuard provides data about each narrative in machine-readable format—such as example language, links containing the false claim, and related keywords and hashtags. The Misinformation Fingerprints can be used as data seeds for existing AI/Social Listening tools to trace false claims across the internet and social media or can be used by human analysts to understand mis- and disinformation risks.

Purpose-built for use by both human analysts and AI tools, NewsGuard’s Misinformation Fingerprints™ provide a continuously updated view of the digital information environment—and a powerful way to track narratives that are emerging and spreading online.

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A machine-readable data feed tracking the top misinformation narratives

NewsGuard’s team of analysts monitors the digital news and information landscape 24/7, searching for new false claims and the sources spreading them. Our Misinformation Fingerprints™ data feed is continually updated with data entries for new narratives as they emerge.

Each narrative is captured as a data seed containing key characteristics of each narrative, such as examples of language promoting the falsehood, links to content advancing the claim, and related keywords, hashtags, and search terms. Collectively, each Misinformation Fingerprint™ can be used as a unique identifier to seed AI/ML tools that search for content containing mis- and disinformation across the internet.

How the State Department and US Cyber Command used Misinformation Fingerprints™ to track state-sponsored disinformation

In September 2020, NewsGuard won a contest from the National Security Innovation Network, a joint U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Defense program seeking solutions that would help the agencies “evaluate disinformation narrative themes in near real time.” Through the grant, NewsGuard’s Misinformation Fingerprints™ were used with AI/ML social listening tools by U.S. Cyber Command to monitor content containing state-sponsored mis- and disinformation and to identify the main sources publishing known false narratives.

With the cybersecurity industry populated largely by AI and machine-learning tools, NewsGuard’s human intelligence approach proved a unique and valuable offering. “We were surprised to see that a solution like NewsGuard’s using human intelligence could work so well,” said Dan Madden, Director for the Mid-Atlantic Region of NSIN.

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