In the Media

Graphika has been featured by news outlets all over the world. Here is a selection of coverage:

November 13, 2019

TIME 100 Next 2019: Camille Francois

TIME

Camille François was one of those brilliant researchers who ultimately helped us uncover a vast assault on our democracy. She and her colleagues at Graphika utilize innovative tools to track and combat online disinformation. Her work for the committee showed how Russia and other adversaries continue to manipulate our social-media feeds and divide us as a nation. 

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October 22, 2019

Facebook: Russian trolls are back. And they're here to meddle with 2020

CNN

Although the accounts posed as Americans from all sides of the political spectrum, many were united in their opposition to the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden, according to Graphika, a social media investigations company that Facebook asked to analyze the accounts.

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How Russian Trolls Weaponized Social Media

Interview: John Kelly, Ph.D, CEO of Graphika on Andrea Mitchell Reports

U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Foreign Influence on Social Media

Graphika: interview with CEO John Kelly

Attack on Democracy

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, & Technology: Hearing on Online Imposters and Disinformation

Camille Francois (Graphika) on Quest Means Business - CNN International

‘Kardashian jokes and then a really racist tweet’: How Russian social media trolls suckered in Americans

(SC Magazine, November 14, 2019)

Camille Francois remembers the day she learned that the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was granting her the extraordinary opportunity to research the extent of Russia’s influence operations during 2016 presidential election campaign.

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The Technology 202: Disinformation campaigns targeting veterans are in the spotlight on Capitol Hill today

(The Washington Post, November 13, 2019)

“These operations are surgically precise, targeting influential people and organizations in the veteran community,” Vlad Barash, science director at the research firm Graphika, will tell members of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee at a hearing about online scams impacting veterans, according to prepared testimony. 

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TIME 100 Next 2019: Camille Francois

(TIME, November 13, 2019)

Camille François was one of those brilliant researchers who ultimately helped us uncover a vast assault on our democracy. She and her colleagues at Graphika utilize innovative tools to track and combat online disinformation. Her work for the committee showed how Russia and other adversaries continue to manipulate our social-media feeds and divide us as a nation. 

Read the Full Story Here

Close Election in Kentucky Was Ripe for Twitter, and an Omen for 2020

(The New York Times, November 10, 2019)

Graphika, a company that specializes in analyzing social media, agreed with the conclusion that much of the activity around the Kentucky vote was domestic and not likely to have been pushed by any foreign power. Graphika said the tweets about electoral fraud appeared to land in what it calls a “Trump core” — a large number of highly interconnected social media accounts, many run by real people, that are typically reactive and loud and can keep a conversation going for days at a time.

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A veteran, a scientist and representatives from Facebook and Twitter are all set to testify.

(Nextgov, November 6, 2019)

The witnesses for the Nov. 13 hearing—entitled “Hijacking our Heroes: Exploiting Veterans through Disinformation on Social Media"—will include Facebook’s Head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher, Twitter’s Public Policy Manager Kevin Kane, Graphika’s Science Director Vladimir Barash and Vietnam Veterans of America’s Chief Investigator and Associate Director of Policy and Government Affairs Kristofer Goldsmith.

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Russian operatives sacrifice followers to stay under cover on Facebook

(Reuters, October 24, 2019)

Those efforts included sharing memes and screenshots of other users' social media posts instead of producing original content in English, likely to avoid making language errors typical of non-native speakers, according to a report here by social media analytics firm Graphika. This technique “gave each asset less of a discernible personality and therefore may have reduced the (campaign’s) ability to build audiences,” Graphika said.

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Facebook: Russian trolls are back. And they're here to meddle with 2020

(CNN, October 22, 2019)

Although the accounts posed as Americans from all sides of the political spectrum, many were united in their opposition to the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden, according to Graphika, a social media investigations company that Facebook asked to analyze the accounts.

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Facebook Finds New Disinformation Campaigns and Braces for 2020 Torrent

(The New York Times, October 21, 2019)

One of the campaigns focused more on the 2020 election. In that campaign, 50 accounts linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency — a Kremlin-backed professional troll farm — targeted candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, according to an analysis from Graphika, a social media research firm. Roughly half of those accounts claimed to be based in swing states. 

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Facebook discloses operations by Russia and Iran to meddle in 2020 election

(The Guardian, October 21, 2019)

The accounts adopted various political identities, such as pro-Donald Trump, anti-police violence, pro-Bernie Sanders, LGBTQ, feminist, pro-police and pro-Confederate, according to Graphika’s analysis. Most posts were not explicitly related to electoral politics, Graphika said, but were focused on general political commentary for “persona development and branding”

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Facebook takedowns show new Russian activity targeted Biden, praised Trump

(The Washington Post, October 21, 2019)

The network appeared still to be in an audience-building phase when it was removed by Facebook: 246,000 accounts followed one or more of the inauthentic Russian accounts, which had collectively made just fewer than 75,000 posts, according to a report from Graphika, a social media analysis firm that examined the operation for Facebook. Only one account, which addressed environmental themes, had more than 20,000 followers.

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The Troll Hunter Who Could Stop Russia from Hacking the 2020 Presidential Election

(Marie Claire, October 7, 2019)

Camille François’s colleagues like to say she’s the most optimistic person looking at the darkest corners of the Internet. François is chief innovation officer at Graphika, a New York–based company that uses artificial intelligence and other technologies to map out social-media interactions.

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Experts: Russian influence efforts constitute "informational warfare," span beyond election

(CBS News, October 5, 2019)

Panelists from organizations like RAND, Graphika and the Alliance for Securing Democracy urged lawmakers that Russia's attacks on the democratic process are far greater than a single election, pointing to disinformation campaigns that seek to weaken western institutions as well as target world industries.

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Troll Watch: Impeachment Inquiry Unleashes U.S.-Driven Disinformation

(NPR Politics, October 5, 2019)

"That is real power. It's not about fake news. It's about gaining power in the 21st century, whether it's doing this internally so that your team wins an election or during this on the world stage so that your enemies' alliances come apart at the seams without you having to fire a shot." That's John Kelly, founder and CEO of Graphika, a top social media analysis firm.

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Exclusive: Bumbling social media scheme hit Hong Kong protestors

(AXIOS, September 26, 2019)

Researchers at Graphika uncovered an amateurish social media campaign targeting the Hong Kong protests that spanned across hundreds of accounts on several mainstream Western platforms.

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Why crafty Internet trolls in the Philippines may be coming to a website near you

(The Washington Post, July 26, 2019)

“This is what disinformation will look like in the U.S. in 2020,” said Camille François, chief innovation officer at the New York-based social network analysis company Graphika. Political manipulation, she said, does not need to come from an ill-intentioned enemy state. It can originate with those who have cut their teeth in the competitive worlds of advertising, media and marketing. 

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It’s not just the Russians anymore as Iranians and others turn up disinformation efforts ahead of 2020 vote

(The Washington Post, July 25, 2019)

“The Iranian operations were a wake-up call to remind us that the Russians were not the only ones doing information operations,” said Camille François, chief innovation officer for Graphika, a network analysis firm based in New York that studies online disinformation.

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Bird-killing, cancer-causing 5G is the internet's new favourite conspiracy theory

(Wired, June 12, 2019)

“It is much easier for people to find that kind of information and find it compelling, and more importantly, find a community around it that makes them feel like they belong to a group of people that have figured out the truth,” says John Kelly, CEO of Graphika.

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INSIDER SPOTLIGHT Explorers of the cybersocial terrain: How Graphika is making sense of social media

(Built in NYC, June 7, 2019)

Our rapidly growing team was featured on Built In NYC's Insider Spotlight. Showcasing a day in the life of three unique employees, this in-depth piece gives curious readers and job seekers the chance to explore what it's like to work at Graphika. 

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Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise

(The New York Times, May 12, 2019)

“RT successfully feeds the conspiracy-oriented ecosystem,” said John Kelly, chief executive of Graphika, a network analytics firm. “This effort is having a real impact. It’s bearing fruit.”

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How Russian Trolls Are Using American Businesses as Their Weapons

(Inc., May 1, 2019)

A co-author of a recent report on Russian propaganda tactics for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Kelly has become one of the world's foremost experts on the subject.

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Fake account network massively pro-Duterte – report

(Rappler, April 29, 2019)

While Facebook conducts its own investigations, they also rely on outside help from the intelligence community, journalists and other technical experts. In the Gabunada case, US-based Graphika was tasked with an independent analysis of the takedown to provide more details and share insights.

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When it comes to social media manipulation, we’re our own worst enemy

(The Washington Post, April 29, 2019)

In a new opinion essay for the Washington Post, Graphika's CEO, Dr. John Kelly advocates for online authenticity as a foundation for preventing foreign and domestic political manipulation.

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Did Twitter Keep Tabs on Journalists' Political Leanings?

(Gizmodo, April 29, 2019)

Gizmodo spoke extensively with one of that study’s co-authors, Camille Francois, who confirmed Graphika’s work had not examined the follow relationships between journalists of varying political appetites on Twitter. She could not recall any public academic study that had.

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How Russian Trolls Weaponized Social Media

(MSNBC, April 14, 2019)

A Russian troll farm in St Petersburg latched onto wedge issues in America—race, immigration, gun control—and spread disinformation around them online to sow discord in America. The goal was to get Americans off their computers and onto the streets.

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U.S. Disrupted Russian Trolls on Day of November Election

(The Moscow Times, February 27, 2019)

A report, by an Oxford University team working with analytical firm Graphika, said Russian trolls urged African-Americans to boycott the 2016 election or to follow wrong voting procedures, while also encouraging right-wing voters to be more confrontational.

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There’s a way to know if Russia threw the election to Trump

(The Washington Post, January 18, 2019)

John Kelly of the data-analysis firm Graphika insists that the Russians were sophisticated enough to tailor their messages to key groups — such as African Americans, who were bombarded with social media posts designed to demotivate them from voting.

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It's Past Time For A National Data Privacy Law

(Forbes, January 18, 2019)

According to Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, which prepared a new report, “this strategy is not an invention for politics and foreign intrigue, it is consistent with techniques used in digital marketing.”

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How the Russians attacked America's democracy

(USA Today, December 19, 2018)

A Russian company with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin used the biggest names in American technology to spread disinformation, poison the electorate and enrage voters.

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Russia Rejects Reports Alleging Extensive US Election Meddling

(Voice of America, December 18, 2018)

The size and scope of Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was far more extensive and thorough than previously understood, according to two newly released reports.

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Codebook - news recap

(Axios, December 18, 2018)

In the United States, Russia's social media disinformation campaigns are often seen as an election-tampering issue. There's a good chance we'll spend 2019 talking about propaganda as something we have to prepare for before the 2020 election.

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Russian disinformation campaign included 'pro-Jill Stein sentiments'

(The Hill, December 18, 2018)

Russia's online disinformation campaign included messaging that supported 2016 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, according to a new report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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New Senate Reports Are an Indictment of the White House's Inaction ...

(Slate, December 18, 2018)

The Senate Intelligence Committee has just released two new reports on Russian disinformation, revealing in unusually rich detail the scope of Russia’s interference not only in the 2016 U.S. presidential election but also in our day-to-day democratic dialogue since.

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Russian Trolls Used ‘Digital Marketing Best Practices’ to Sow Discord, Senate Reports Find

(AdWeek, December 18, 2018)

The Russian troll farm responsible for running disinformation campaigns intended to influence the 2016 presidential election reached more people on Instagram than on Facebook, and Russian-government-linked accounts are still spreading disinformation on both of the platforms at even higher rates than before the 2016 presidential election.

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Senate-commissioned reports show scale of Russian misinformation campaign

(Axios, December 17, 2018)

Two outside research groups used data obtained from Silicon Valley giants by the Senate Intelligence Committee to paint a sweeping picture of Russia’s online disinformation efforts both before and after the 2016 presidential election in reports released Monday.

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Voter Suppression and Racial Targeting: In Facebook’s and Twitter’s Words

(The New York Times, December 17, 2018)

A report submitted to a Senate committee about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election says that social media companies made misleading or evasive claims about whether the efforts tried to discourage voting or targeted African-Americans on their platforms.

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How Russian Trolls Boosted Conservative News Outlets in the United States

(MotherJones, December 17, 2018)

Russian internet trolls helped expand the reach of conservative media outlets as part of a Kremlin campaign to influence US politics and sow social discord, according to a new report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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Russian 2016 Influence Operation Targeted African-Americans on Social Media

(The New York Times, December 17, 2018)

The Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 election made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans, used an array of tactics to try to suppress turnout among Democratic voters and unleashed a blizzard of activity on Instagram that rivaled or exceeded its posts on Facebook

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Russian interference in the election was worse than we thought

(Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2018)

Two studies released by the Senate Intelligence Committee provide shocking specifics about the scope and sophistication of the effort by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian business linked to the Kremlin, to spread manipulative content online.

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Massive scale of Russian election trolling revealed in draft Senate report

(ARS Technica, December 17, 2018)

A report prepared for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) concludes that the activities of Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) leading up to and following the 2016 US presidential election were crafted to specifically help the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

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How Russia Hacked US Politics With Instagram Marketing

(Foreign Policy, December 17, 2018)

In June 2017, some eight months after the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, Kremlin operatives running a digital interference campaign in American politics scored a viral success with a post on Instagram.

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Key takeaways from new reports on Russian disinformation

(Fox Business, December 17, 2018)

Russians seeking to influence U.S. elections through social media had their eyes on Instagram and the black community. These were among the findings in two reports released Monday by the Senate intelligence committee.

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Russian operatives were promoting sex toys on Instagram to sow discord in the US

(Quartz, December 17, 2018)

Two reports produced by independent researchers for the US Senate Intelligence Committee show that Instagram was a much more significant tool in the hands of Russian operatives trying to influence US politics than previously thought—and was at times potentially more powerful than Facebook.

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Silicon Valley may have done 'bare minimum' to help Russia investigation

(CNN, December 17, 2018)

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been advised that social media companies might have provided the "bare minimum" amount of data to aid the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to a person familiar with a report commissioned by the committee.

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We Made It Easy for the Russians

(Esquire, December 17, 2018)

A new report states very plainly that the Russian government designed this sweeping program specifically to help the Trump campaign, and that it was based on a thoroughgoing analysis of how easily Americans can be duped when it comes to electing a president.

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How Russia exploited racial tensions in America during the 2016 elections

(Vox, December 17, 2018)

More than two years after the 2016 elections, media outlets and academics are still discovering the extent of Russian disinformation campaigns aimed at American voters.

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Russia disinformation report calls out big tech

(Seeking Alpha, December 17, 2018)

A new report prepared for the Senate highlights the "belated and uncoordinated response" of tech companies to the Russian disinformation campaign during the 2016 election.

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10 things you need to know today

(The Week, December 17, 2018)

The study by Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project and network analysis firm Graphika found that Russians working at the Internet Research Agency separated Americans into key interest groups and targeted them with messages.

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Here's How Russian Trolls Turned Social Media Into a Weapon

(Gizmodo, December 17, 2018)

Two new independent studies commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public, providing the most in-depth look at online Russian interference in the 2016 election to date.

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Yes, Russian Trolls Helped Elect Trump

(The New York Times, December 17, 2018)

Russian propaganda had about 187 million engagements on Instagram, reaching at least 20 million users, and 76.5 million engagements on Facebook, reaching 126 million people. Approximately 1.4 million people engaged with tweets associated with the Internet Research Agency.

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How Russia Harvested American Rage to Reshape U.S. Politics

(The New York Times, October 9, 2018)

John Kelly, Ph.D, Graphika’s founder and CEO contributed analysis and expertise for this New York Times piece revealing the consistent nature of Russian social media manipulation strategy across different social network platforms.

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Here’s Proof that Russian-Backed Accounts Pushed the Nike Boycott

(Wired, September 27, 2018)

Graphika’s John Kelly, Ph.D contributed expert opinion about ongoing Russian disinformation campaigns that helped to amplify the anti-Nike sentiment during the boycott of the brand following the announcement of Colin Kaepernick as the face of a major Nike advertising campaign.

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Interview: John Kelly, Ph.D, CEO of Graphika on Andrea Mitchell Reports

(MSNBC, August 2, 2018)

After delivering his testimony on Russian foreign influence on social media to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Graphika CEO and founder, John Kelly, Ph.D visited Andrea Mitchell Reports (MSNBC) in Washington, D.C. on August 2nd, 2018.

Watch the Full Interview Here

U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Foreign Influence on Social Media

(C-SPAN, August 1, 2018)

Graphika Founder and CEO, John Kelly, Ph.D was invited to provide his expert testimony on foreign interference in the U.S. presidential election before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Watch the broadcast here.

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A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling

(Bloomberg, July 19, 2018)

Graphika founder and CEO, John Kelly, Ph.D contributed analysis and expert perspective for this piece from Bloomberg exploring the global rise of government sponsored interference in elections by means of online manipulation and disinformation.

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How an Ex-YouTube Insider Investigated its Secret Algorithm

(The Guardian, February 2, 2018)

Graphika discovered over 513,000 Twitter accounts tweeted links to one or more YouTube-recommended videos that were boosted by vigorous social media campaigns leading up to the 2016 election, involving thousands of accounts controlled by political operatives, including a large number of bots.

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This former Google exec talked to the social media trolls the Russians paid to influence elections — here’s what she learned

(CNBC, January 19, 2018)

Camille François, Graphika’s Chief Innovation Officer, shared first hand accounts of the stories of real troll farm workers and her own experience co-authoring a landmark report on Russian electoral influence operations for the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

Watch the Full Interview Here

The Insanity of NBA All-Star Voting

(ESPN, February 16, 2017)

Graphika sifted through more than 5 million tweets on behalf of ESPN, revealing a number of interesting findings about NBA All-Star voting, including 10 hyperactive bot accounts voting for Kawhi Leonard about 1,000 times per day.

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