Dear Friends, we are grateful to response that we have received to our reports. One of our objectives, beyond exposing the propaganda networks, is to make people in India (and elsewhere) aware about the menace of fake news/ propaganda/ DisInfo; and how badly it affects the society at large.
As part of increasing awareness, we would be releasing case studies documenting how social media is being weaponized by vested interests to target the fabric of society or for Geo-political objectives. These case studies would be under licensing rules of ‘Wiki Commons’, and would be free to use for anyone for education, training and distribution purposes in any form.
As with everyone and every Sector, we have also been facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, and are trying to stay afloat. However, this is becoming increasingly difficult with all kind of obstacles. We have been affected at both personal and professional levels, and hence we need some support for us to sustain this difficult times. We are seeking contribution in two forms:-
So far we have been working on this project as an interest and a collective responsibility. However, we did not realize that the fake news industry and disinformation machinery would be of this massive scale. Given the extent and severity of the situation, we are getting pulled-in more and more, which is also affecting our day-job, which earns us our bread and butter. We realize that if there is a basic sustenance achieved in this field, we could dedicate ourselves full-time in this endeavor and could do more justice. In this regard, we request to kindly contribute to us. (We have been waiting for the formal registration to get account details etc, but given the slow process and Covid disruptions, we would seek your help through online channels – details are as follows).
As the DisInfo networks are massive, we need more helping hands to help dismantle the fake news industry. We had initially tried seeking contribution, some of which worked and some did not. Therefore, we have come up with set of do’s and don’ts to demarcate the kind of content that we would be willing to entertain. Following some of the basic rules, which are not exhaustive but mainly indicative:
- Network/ Pattern: The content has to have nature of a network or a pattern, and should not be individual incidences or evidences of fake handles or fake news.
- OSINT: The content should have at least the basic evidences which are independently and publicly verifiable. We would not entertain documents or photographs that are available with people in their personal capacity.
- Apolitical: The content should not have a political connotation or leanings. We also do not intend to get engaged with the domestic political discourse at this stage.
- Data Driven: We would be keen to engage data scientists or data experts, provided they are willing to share data set from which they drawing the conclusions and inferences which can be publicly, openly and independently verified.
Contractual /Collaborative Efforts
In addition to providing leads/ content, we are also looking forward to collaboration in the following areas:
- Content Writing: We would like some help in formalizing our reports and editing the content. This can be done both off-site/online and onsite; on the condition that the content would not be made public before DisInfo Lab publishes it.
- Video Content: We do realize that our reports at times are difficult to explain only in the written form due to the level of complexity and therefore, we would be happy to engage to either make an explanatory video on the report. Alternately, provided they have a good number of audiences, they may be willing to do a Video-explainer on the report through their channels. This however, would be subject to our approval about the content and orientation of the video, and the approved videos would be shared through our platforms as well.
- Language Translations: We believ that this expose should be reaching to as many languages as possible, and therefore, are seeking people who could translate the report in regional languages (they could also publish it through your platforms). For the purpose, the report can be suitably edited or modified to suit the language and the audience. (The platform should not distort the report and should not include in any that has not been mentioned in the report.) However, would not own the content in other languages nor the responsibility of the content.
Conditions for being a content partner:
- The person should not be from a political party/ or actively engaged in promoting a Party narrative.
- Should not be involved in hate-mongering, divisive politics and abuse.
- Should have preferably a good track record in terms of disinformation, info war, social media discourse, etc.
- Should not have been involved in posting or spreading fake news in past.
Attributions: The contents inputs/submissions would be prerogative of DisInfo Lab and would be used and publicized as per or editorial decisions. The entity submitting these reports should not have and would not have any claim over the content.
Full-fledged Reports: If there is a comprehensive report mapping full network with publicly available and independently verifiable evidences, we would publish the report giving credit to the person/entity contributed the report provided at least 50% of the final report has been published using the content.