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November 2022 Newsletter

OTF's November 2022 Newsletter


Phishing is a major security threat for human rights defenders and journalists. To date, there is no easy-to-use solution to help users build their skills in detecting and defeating these attacks in an effective manner. Shira aims to fill this gap by providing its users with a web app to develop these skills. To help build these skills, Shira will provide users with a series of quizzes that teach how to identify and defeat security threats and attacks. The mobile design of the quizzes is nearing completion, with an early build of the application expecting an internal release this month.

Internet Outage Detection and Analysis (IODA)

IODA is an operational prototype system that monitors the Internet, in near real-time, to identify macroscopic Internet outages affecting the edge of the network. The IODA tool’s public dashboard provides timely information about network outages, enabling users to inspect and explore data to investigate disruptive events. IODA recently integrated Google usage data into its dashboard and created simplified and advanced views, improving the user-interface’s accessibility and usability. In addition, IODA is now supporting Farsi translation and regularly report on Iran Internet connectivity issues since the murder of Mahsa Armini, which has sparked country-wide protests. They co-authored a report on network outages in Iran with OONI.

Observatory on Social Media

Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe) aims to lower the entry barrier for social media researchers, journalists, and the general public who wish to research online disinformation and manipulation. OSoMe offers a suite of free and open-source tools for detection, interactive visualization, and analysis of social media data. Three major tools under development to analyze Twitter are Botometer (which analyzes activity to determine the likelihood that an account is automated), Hoaxy (allows individuals to visualize the spread of claims and fact-checking from account-to-account), and BotSlayer (an application that helps track and detect potential manipulation of information spreading on the platform). The goal is to empower communities to determine the trustworthiness of information and sources in the absence of reliable intermediaries. Such efforts may increase the resilience of citizens to manipulation and support democracy around the world.

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