Social media intelligence gathering and anomalies detection


A humanitarian technology born from multi-year research

Information Tracer is initially a research tool built by Zhouhan during his PhD. Zhouhan wanted to collect cross-platform social media data about COVID-19 fake news URLs, but could not find a suitable tool. Then he started to build the system from scratch. Read our founder's story. Now the system is used by newsrooms, universities, and NGOs. Read how Internews and UN Migration uses Information Tracer to understand online discourse in Moldova.


Use case 1: expose coordinated campaigns

We develop an emsemble of technical signals to identify inauthentic behaviors behind online campaigns. We work with research institutions and humanitarian agencies to monitor misinformation narratives across the globe. By combining our intelligence with people who understand local politics and languages, we can effectively identify emerging false narratives. Check out the Mexico election dashboard we built in collaboration with Tecnologico de Monterrey.


Use case 2: detect online hate speech

We collaborated with Worldie, a Social Media for Good organization, to investigate cyberbullying operations targeting Amber Heard, actress and human rights activist. Using data collected by Information Tracer, we gathered evidence of hate speech campaigns targeting prominent women figures including Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.


Use case 3: discover scam and fraud sites

To discover scam on social media, we search for posts containing suspicious keywords (like 'download crypto', 'forextrader', 'free coupon'), and detect suspicious accounts or risky URLs based on information sharing patterns. For more detail please check out our presentation at Anti Scam Research Group Meeting.

Our journey


Impacts and Awards


Delivered workshops to 2023 World Press Institute Fellow journalists, media executives, and Deutsche Welle Akademie. You can find recent presentaion material here.


Presented research at DEFCON 2022, the largest hacking conference in the world, with a number of participant above 35000.


We won 1st place at 2022 Twitter Developer Challenge (total number of participant is 1623). We ranked the 2nd place at 2023 Smart City Ideation Challenge hosted by AI Singapore.


"Amazing cross-platform tool by @chenzhouhan"

Fabio Giglietto, Associate Professor of Internet Studies

"Thank you Zhouhan for doing a demo of the tool you created to trace suspicious sources of information. The talk was not only related to our work but also the way you visualize data inspired me a lot."

Masaru Sato, Sr Analyst - Cybersecurity & Anti-Abuse Research at Google

"The project exemplifies how technologists can play a crucial role in sustaining local news and meeting the information needs of communities across the country."

From Announcing funding for three AI & Local News teams | NYC Media Lab

Get in touch

What use case do you have in mind? Have a question? Please contact us at