Social media intelligence gathering and anomalies detection

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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.

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Use case 1: detect bot and influence campaigns

We collaborated with Worldie, a Social Media for Good organization, to investigate influence operations and cross-platform bot campaigns targeting Amber Heard. Using cross-platform data collected by Information Tracer, we gathered evidence of disinformation operations that negatively affect Amber Heard and other human rights activist.

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Use case 2: expose misinformation

Information Tracer continously collects cross-platform news sharing data, and clusters suspicious content together based on an ensemble of risk signals. We share our threat intelligence with security teams at Meta, Google and Twitter. For more detail check out our blog on detecting misinformation campaign.

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Use case 3: discover scam and fraud sites

Security analysts use Information Tracer to search for keywords associated with fraud (like 'crypto', 'forextrader', 'free coupon'), and receive a recommended list of risky URLs based on oc-occurrence patterns. Analysts can then use Malware Discoverer, another tool we developed to further investigate URLs.

Our journey

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Testimonials

"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 zhouhan.chen@nyu.edu