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Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation

by Institute for Strategic Dialogue; Carl Miller; Chloe Colliver

Published | August 2020

Tackling mis- and disinformation


"Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation" presents a vision for civil societal responses to online manipulation: developing the capability to detect it, the coalitions to confront it, the strategies to prevent it, and the structures of cooperation and funding.

Why read

The report provides guidance to actors and ICSOs where independent, cross-platform, comprehensive research on online manipulation can realistically take place vis-à-vis with ways rooted by human experience and societal values.


The report presents a vision for a pan-civil societal response to online manipulation. In part, it argues, this will come down to the capability of building a pooled detection capacity to function as a transparent, public interest alter­native to those built by the tech giants. In part, it will require new organisational philosophies and forms of co-operation, and in part new approaches to funding and support.

Overall, the vision tries to unite the sophistication and specialisa­tion that a scaled response can confer, with everything that makes civil society a crucial part of the solution: its diversity, capacity to connect with marginalised voices and communities, transparency and passionate support for the values, causes and issues that its members, supports and workers believe in and that online manipulation itself now threatens to undermine.


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