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Lawrence Alexander

I employ social network analysis, open-source investigation and self-written code to research the political use of social media and the web, with a focus on fake news and disinformation.

Email Lawrence Alexander

Latest posts by Lawrence Alexander

In the fight against pro-Kremlin bots, tech companies are suspending regular users

Tech companies' one-size-fits-all approach to bot-hunting seems to have dragged a number of innocent victims in its nets.

Troll farm takes aim at American audiences in new web campaign

RIA FAN, a Russian news outlet with known connections to the Saint Petersburg "troll factory", announced its latest project: a website called USA Really, aimed at a U.S.-based audience.

Massive LiveJournal Troll Network Pushes Pro-Kremlin Narratives

An in-depth analysis of Twitter bots' metadata reveals connections to Russian "troll factories" and a vast network of pro-Kremlin LiveJournal blogs populating RuNet with propagandistic content.

Are Russian News Media Getting a Boost from Retweet Bots on Twitter?

Analysis indicates the retweet and favorite counts of some of Russia's top news agencies are seemingly being artificially inflated by hundreds of Twitter bots.

When Online Kremlin Propaganda Leaves the Web, It Looks Like This

"Material Evidence" is one of few pro-Putin Internet projects connected to Russia's "troll factories" with a significant offline trail. Because of this, we can trace its operations unusually well.

Pro-Russian Web Network Digs Up the Dirt on Kremlin Critics

Some of the sites in the pro-Kremlin network aim to attack Ukrainian politicians and Russian opposition figures by way of "personal dossiers" and alleged "dirt" dug up on the individuals.

Open-Source Information Reveals Pro-Kremlin Web Campaign

Publicly available information from Google Analytics and other sources shows connections between a number of pro-Russian and pro-Kremlin websites, but offers little indication as to who might be behind them.

Hashtags and User Networks in the Putin-Poroshenko Twitter Chatter

Network graphs reveal the associations between individual Twitter users in Russia and Ukraine and the hashtags they include in their tweets about presidents Putin and Poroshenko.

Tor Use in Russia Spiking in Response to Kremlin's Censorship Efforts

As the Kremlin steps up its efforts to enforce Internet censorship, search engine data shows a growing number of Russians use Tor to circumvent content blocking.

The Curious Chronology of Russian Twitter Bots

Multiple Twitter accounts were created on the same day, sometimes within hours of each other. This trend, typical for automated bot networks, was evident throughout Alexander's pro-Kremlin bot sample.

A Response to the Kremlin-Bot Skeptics

After Alexander's bot network analysis garnered massive attention from Russian media and social networks, he now addresses some of the skepticism about the bot networks and their provenance.

Social Network Analysis Reveals Full Scale of Kremlin's Twitter Bot Campaign

Visualised data on nearly 20,500 pro-Kremlin Twitter "bot" accounts reveals the massive scale of information manipulation attempts on the RuNet.

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