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The Media Manipulation Casebook: How Civil Society Can Combat Misinformation and Hate Speech Without Making It Worse

by Technology and Social Change project; Dr. Joan Donovan

Published | October 2021

Tackling mis- and disinformation


"The Media Manipulation Casebook" contains strategies to be used specifically by CSOs to mitigate the harms of misinformation as a response to the lack of attention of civil society responses to combat misinformation.

Why read

The guide shares new strategies for fighting media manipulation and disinformation to protect communities caught in the crosshairs of a disinformation campaign.


The tip sheet is providing a set of recommendations based on the 3Ds mixed-methods of the technology and social Change research team at Harvard’s Shorenstein centre. The investigative work methods of digital ethnography which aim to detect, document, and debunk media manipulation disinformation campaigns using a various open-source investigation tools available on the web to document signs of imposters, including assessing the history of the accounts in question, the degree of automation on a specific topic, and the networks of actors sharing the suspicious materials.

Additionally, the author is exploring the stages of the media manipulation life cycle over several case studies that are provided as examples for lessons-learned where CSOs and/or small groups employed six different strategies to counter misinformation.

The guide explores a set of potential strategies to be used specifically by civil society organizations to mitigate the harms of misinformation .



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