Resources from Hoaxlines
This will be continually updated (last update: 6/25/2022) and includes our disinformation database, headline trackers, Ukraine dashboard, and basics of mis-, dis-, and malinformation.
Index and summary
Please read the content below this section to better understand the tables and how they are sourced. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found in the sections below.
Links to a full-screen version of the tables:
Trending headlines among pro-Kremlin sources for non-Russians Trending headlines among sources for a domestic Russian audience
(both tables are having workflow issues that will hopefully be resolved this week, posted 6/20/22)
Temporary tracker tables for the interim —posted 6/25
The disinformation database
About the database
Hoaxlines is a disinformation database from Novel Science, a science communication project researching media manipulation and malign influence. Our work has been cited by respected investigative journalists, fact-checking websites internationally, and expert resources.
We aim to detect and expose unethical efforts to influence the public in real-time. Falsehoods have always existed, but today bad actors have a powerful range of tools and tactics that give them opportunities and efficacy unrivaled in human history. Facing that threat and helping the public understand it drives our work.
Definitions and presentation
Topic categories are war, influence, autocracy, threats, health security, and legal. Content is further delineated into subcategories. Items are also tagged as news, article, report, research, brief, update, disinfo, or FOIA, which describes the content.
Russian: When Hoaxlines references Russia, unless otherwise stated, we refer to the Russian government currently controlled by Vladimir Putin. We are not referencing the Russian people unless explicitly stated.
Published date reflects the date information or content in the table was published, which may differ from the date it was entered into the table, the submission date.
Submission date reflects the date that Hoaxlines entered the information or content into the database. You can adjust the table to sort by submission date instead.
The disinformation database is sorted by submission date and looks like this.
An example of why published and submission dates may be far apart would be something that is declassified. That will have an older published date but may have a recent entry date. With this type of research, older content may have significance as well as new so we make the table available with sortation both ways.
Questions or comments? Contact us.
Pro-Kremlin headline trackers
Trending headlines among pro-Kremlin sources for non-Russians Trending headlines among sources for the domestic Russian audience
Temporary tracker tables for the interim —posted 6/25
About the trending headlines
Data included in the tables are from outlets that have been recognized 1) by the federal government or another Western intelligence agency, 2) by research organizations that provide supporting evidence, or 3) from website partnerships and republished content, as either: Russian state-controlled, a partner, a content creator, or an amplifier, which means that the outlet may have no concrete ties to the Kremlin.
While some of these outlets do have concrete ties to the Russian state, some included in the data do not.
Inclusion in the database should not be regarded as an assertion that an outlet is affiliated with the Russian state nor that the story is false, misleading, or otherwise nefarious.
The collection of data is automated using RSS. The Buzzsumo algorithm then determines which articles are “trending” and articles that trend are entered into the Hoaxlines database. Dates and headlines have not been verified.
The headline tracker tables update multiple times per day. If you notice a problem or have a question please fill out the contact form.
Pro-Kremlin headlines for non-Russians
Pro-Kremlin headlines for Russians
Questions or comments? Contact us.
Ukraine information dashboard
Hoaxlines collected reliable sources of information on the Russian invasion of Ukraine to help the public better understand what is taking place. The dashboard includes fact-checks, a sanctions tracker, and ways to help Ukraine from anywhere in the world.
Mis-, Dis, and Malinformation Basics
Disinformation, or information that is shared with the intent to mislead people, is increasingly a global phenomenon. It has become more prevalent with the rise of social media and the digital economy and a lack of digital and media literacy among consumers of online media.1
Disinformation is often used as a catch-all term for all false information, but it is distinguished from misinformation by its purposeful intent to deceive.
Misinformation, on the other hand, is false information spread by someone who believes false information to be true. The impact of disinformation and misinformation can be the same. Whether false information is shared intentionally or not, it is still dangerous.
Malinformation is a deliberate publication of private information for personal or private interest, as well as the deliberate manipulation of genuine content. This is often done by moving private or revealing information about an individual, taken out of context, into the public sphere.
Key terms and definitions
Astroturfing: An organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation).
Bots: Social media accounts that are operated entirely by computer programs and are designed to generate posts and/or engage with content on a particular platform.
Clickbait: Something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.2 This tactic involves creating a misleading or inaccurate post using a provocative headline or image that lures the victim to click and read the content, which is often unrelated or less sensational than the headline itself.
Content Farm: A website or company that creates low-quality content aimed at improving its search engine rankings. Also known as a content mill or factory, its main purpose is to maximize page views and revenue generated by advertising on those pages while minimizing the costs and time needed to create the content.3
Cyber Troops: Government or political party actors tasked with the use of social media to manipulate public opinion online.4
Gaslighting: Technique of deception and psychological manipulation practiced by a deceiver, or “gaslighter,” on victims over an extended period. Its effect is to gradually undermine the victims’ confidence in their own ability to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or reality from appearance, thereby rendering them pathologically dependent on the gaslighter.5
Manufactured Amplification: Occurs when the reach or spread of information is boosted through artificial means.6
Microtargeting: To direct tailored advertisements, political messages, etc., at (people) based on detailed information about them (such as what they buy, watch, or respond to on a website); to target (small groups of people) for highly specific advertisements or messages.7
Sock Puppets: A sock puppet is an online account that uses a false identity designed specifically to deceive. Sock puppets are used on social platforms to spread or amplify false information to a mass audience.8
Trolling: The act of deliberately posting offensive or inflammatory content to an online community with the intent of provoking readers or disrupting conversation. The term “troll” is most often used to refer to any person harassing or insulting others online.9
Troll Farm: A group of individuals engaging in trolling or bot-like promotion of narratives in a coordinated fashion.
These definitions and text were originally published in the Disinformation Primer and authored by USAID in Feb 2021
Storyful Intelligence. (2018, September 24). Misinformation and Disinformation. White paper. Storyful. https://storyful.com/thought-leadership/misinformation-and-disinformation/
Bradshaw, S., & Howard, P. N. (2018). Challenging truth and trust: A global inventory of organized social media manipulation. Computational Propaganda Research Project. http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/wpcontent/uploads/sites/93/2018/07/ct2018.pdf
Duignan, B. Gaslighting. Encyclopedia entry. Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/gaslighting
Hartz, J. (2018). Supporting information integrity and civil political discourse. NDI.
Wardle, C. (2018, July). Information Disorder: The essential glossary. Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy. https://firstdraftnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/infoDisorder_glossary.pdf
Wardle, C. (2018, July). Information Disorder: The essential glossary. Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy. https://firstdraftnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/infoDisorder_glossary.pdf; Hartz, J. (2018). Supporting information integrity and civil political discourse. NDI.