Through the Info/tegrity initiative, NDI is defending and ensuring the integrity of the information space.
Within NDI’s Democracy and Technology team (DemTech), the Info/tegrity initiative provides a framework to lead and support institutional initiatives countering disinformation and other forms of online manipulation, while strengthening the integrity of the information space. Through Info/tegrity, NDI has developed regional networks among civic technology and civil society organizations in Asia, Africa, Eurasia, and Latin America to exchange information, tools, and best practices.
Reliable, authentic information is critical to transparent, inclusive, and accountable governance and to citizens’ ability to exercise their civic rights and responsibilities. Yet, illiberal influences are on the rise, and authoritarian governments view the free flow of information as a threat, something they must exert power over and control. Bad actors and those who wish to discredit democracy use digital technologies and platforms to manipulate information to spread cynicism, distort political processes, sow confusion and division, amplify conspiracy theories and extreme views, promote violence against women, and interfere with citizens’ ability to make sound political decisions. Social inequalities in the offline world - including racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination - are replicated and amplified online.
Info/tegrity addresses these threats by building networks to develop long-term identification, response, and resilience against disinformation and harmful actors, groups, and content. To further strengthen the capacity of the organizations within the Info/tegrity network, NDI provides customized trainings, skill-building workshops, and resources to support their work. As more actors join the effort to strive for a safe, inclusive information landscape, NDI will work to elevate practices of countering disinformation and promoting information integrity through its partners, staff, and the broader global democracy and governance community.
Supporting information integrity is a critical mission for NDI. To achieve this mission, the Institute maintains a variety of programs under the Info/tegrity initiative:
Monitoring Elections Online
NDI monitors disinformation, hate speech, computational propaganda, violence against political women, and the overall information landscape as part of its longstanding election observation efforts. Through the deployment of disinformation experts and expanded data collection on digital threats, NDI incorporates analysis of the information environment into its international election observation assessments. NDI also provides technical assistance to nonpartisan citizen election observers around the world to assess, monitor, and mitigate disinformation’s impact on electoral integrity. This can come in the form of training, peer-to-peer learning, ongoing consultations and guidance, or readily available resources such as the Countering Disinformation Guide chapter on election monitoring, case studies and lessons learned, the Combatting Information Manipulation Playbook, and the Guide for Civil Society on Monitoring Social Media During Elections, developed with a multinational group of organizations.
Civic Engagement and Building Democratic Technology Norms
NDI enhances the ability of political parties, media, civil society organizations, and individual citizens to deal with and defend themselves from disinformation and other harmful forms of content, while also promoting and ensuring information integrity. For example, NDI provides tools and resources through our Dem.Tools website and other publications to partners to protect themselves from disinformation, including training on risk management, information assurance, and cybersecurity. NDI is also in continuous dialogue with political parties so they can better understand the nature of threats posed and to strengthen their commitments to information integrity to bolster healthy, open, and democratic political systems. Finally, the Institute and its partners work to strengthen normative frameworks, nationally and globally, for a safe, open, free, and democratic information space.
Addressing Online Violence Against Women and Gendered Disinformation
Gendered disinformation is a form of online violence against women. Online violence against women in politics, in particular, challenges democracy by systematically intimidating or excluding half of the population from political participation. These campaigns are especially harmful to political women with additional marginalized identities, exacerbating the increased levels of in-person violence they face. Gendered disinformation specifically aims to influence political outcomes by intimidating, demeaning or discrediting women using scare tactics - like doxxing, trolling and cyberstalking - and manipulating entrenched gender norms to pollute the information environment. NDI works with its partners to combat gendered disinformation and other forms of online violence against women through research and developing resources such as Tweets that Chill, Addressing Online Misogyny and Gendered Disinformation, and Think10. In the Countering Disinformation Guide, there is also a section that outlines the impacts of and approaches to address gendered disinformation.
Tech Sector Engagement
NDI leads the Design 4 Democracy (D4D) Coalition, a coalition of partners in dialogue with technology and social media companies to ensure the policies and standards adopted for their platforms are inclusive, help democratic actors defend against information manipulation, and provide for healthy civil discourse. NDI crafted our Democratic Principles for the Information Space to serve as guidance in this dialogue. Through the Coalition, we serve as a channel from our partners to tech companies through our Tech Request and Content Escalation form to ensure that their requests are addressed in a timely manner.
Developing Knowledge and Trusted Networks
NDI conducts polling, surveys, and research that help inform its approach to disinformation and ensure its response addresses complex societal impacts inclusively. NDI also convenes like-minded individuals and organizations in networks to share knowledge, tools, and guidance on information integrity issues, and seeks to rebuild trust in democratic institutions. NDI has built Info/tegrity regional networks and launched extensive training programs in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America to build response and resilience against information manipulation. NDI also actively supports and engages with Code for All, a global network of civic tech organizations.
DemTools is an online hub of tech tools and resources for democracy that catalogs software, approaches, toolkits and guides that DemTech regards as trusted technology or technology-related resources for the democracy community.The DemTech team provides tailored support and advice on topics related to the impacts of technology for democracy, the use of technology in democratic development, and applying human-centered design approaches to democracy programming.
Documentary: Taiwan - Canary In A Digital Coal Mine
- The Countering Disinformation Guide
- Data Analytics for Social Media Monitoring
- Combating Information Manipulation: A Playbook for Elections and Beyond
- Design 4 Democracy Coalition Resources
- #NotTheCost Campaign
- Tweets that Chill: Analyzing Online Violence Against Women in Politics
- Addressing Online Misogyny and Gendered Disinformation: A How-to Guide
- Think10 " The #think10 safety planning tool provides women in politics guidance on how to enhance their personal security by combining scores from a self-assessment questionnaire and the country score from NDI’s new Women’s Political Participation Risk Index. The WPPRI calculates the risk to politically active women in 172 countries. In using the tool, women in politics can develop a safety plan relevant to their personal and professional profile, and in their political context."
- Democratic Principles for the Information Space
- Influencing the Internet: Democratizing the Politics that Shape Internet Governance Norms and Standards
Featured Media on Info/tegrity’s Work
- Documentary: Taiwan - Canary In A Digital Coal Mine
- Information Integrity Challenges: A growing threat to Kosovo’s democracy
- Polarized Lens: Disinformation, Misinformation, and Hong Kong's Divided Media Landscape
- DISICON - Information Integrity Conference 2021
- Using Crowdtangle to Explore Democratic Contexts around the World
- Engendering Hate: The Contours of State-Aligned Gendered Disinformation Online
To join the Info/tegrity Network, or to learn more about information integrity programming at NDI, contact: Dan Arnaudo, Advisor for Information Strategies [email protected]