Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD

 
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                               ISD briefing
                                                                                                       Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                                       Profit and  Protest

                                                        12th May2020
                                                        7th July 2020

                Far-right
        Profit and        exploitation
                    Protest: How Facebook
      is struggling of
                     to Covid-19
                        enforce limits on ads
     spreading hate, lies and scams about
     ISDISD   and BBC
          the Black  LivesClick investigation
                           Matter protests
           ISD and BBC Click Investigation analyses
                                        Aoife        far right exploitation of Covid-19
                                              Gallagher
        disinformation and uncovers massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19
                                 disinformation on Facebook.

                                                Investigation Briefing note:
Introduction
 This week, ISD released a pioneering investigation with BBC Click, mapping the scale and
Following the murder of George Floyd and the protests it has catalysed across the globe, ISD examined
 nature ofad
Facebook’s    online
                librarydisinformation
                        for signs of policy around
                                            violations,COVID-19
                                                        in particularincontent
                                                                        the US,that
                                                                                 as“exploits
                                                                                    well as its  co-option
                                                                                             crises           by far
                                                                                                    or controversial
 right actors.
political or socialThe  investigation
                    issues for commercialwas    featured
                                            purposes”        on BBCunder
                                                         (prohibited    World’s  Click programme,
                                                                            the platform’s Advertising as well as
                                                                                                        Policies)1
                                                                                                                  .
 on the BBC News website.
ISD has used this database to identify groups, individuals and companies using false or provocative
narratives   relatedfound
 ISD researchers       to the  protests,
                            that   34 knownfor personal    gain and/or to promote
                                                disinformation-hosting          websitestheir      causethe
                                                                                             gathered     or products.
                                                                                                              staggeringly high
 volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
Following
 same timemounting        pressure
              period, posts    linkingfrom   anWHO’s
                                        to the   advertiser   boycott,
                                                         website           Facebook
                                                                     received          announced
                                                                                 6.2 million            changeswith
                                                                                                interactions,      to its
                                                                                                                       thepolicies
                                                                                                                           website of the
regarding
 US Center  hate
               for speech
                   Diseaseon      June 26
                              Control       , including
                                         (CDC)
                                           2
                                                 receivingthe6.4
                                                               prohibition     of a wider category
                                                                   million interactions        throughof   hateful
                                                                                                         posts       language
                                                                                                                on public        in ads
                                                                                                                            Facebook.
on the site than previously used, as well as labelling on posts from political figures that violate hate speech
terms  of service.
 Our analysis         These
                 – which     posts from
                           revealed          politicians
                                        hundreds          were previously
                                                     of thousands               exempt
                                                                       of far right postsfromaroundany COVID-19
                                                                                                       labelling orandremoval   action,
                                                                                                                          millions of
and  are still allowed
 engagements        with to remain
                          known        on the platform
                                    disinformation     sitesdespite   the contravention
                                                             – provides                        of terms of
                                                                             an important evidence           service
                                                                                                          base          on hate speech.
                                                                                                                 for understanding
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
As the following
 pandemic     online,case
                        andstudies    show,
                             highlights    a delays
                                              marked  orincrease
                                                          mistakes in  in conversations
                                                                          policy enforcement   withincontinue   to circles
                                                                                                        far right   enable hateful   and
                                                                                                                             about so-
harmful   contentincluding
 called ‘elites’      to spreadBillthrough
                                       Gates, paid targeted
                                                George         ads.the
                                                          Soros,      TheRothschilds
                                                                            key issue liesandin policy   enforcement,
                                                                                                  Jeff Bezos   and falsenot    in policy
                                                                                                                           information
design,  in these
 about their    roleinstances.     The question
                      in the creation    or spreadremains      whether
                                                      of the virus.   The Facebook      ads will
                                                                            conversations           continuebytoISD
                                                                                                monitored         be researchers
                                                                                                                      used to promote
hate  and harm,
 referenced     thedespite
                     virus asthe    expansion
                               a tool  of socialofcontrol,
                                                    its policies  that are designed
                                                             a purposeful     plot to killtooffprevent
                                                                                                 certainsuch   activity. or a means
                                                                                                          populations,
 to make money for these individuals and their institutions, all of which are unfounded claims. ISD’s Digital
Using  a series
 Analysis   Unit of  keywordon
                  is working     searches    relating
                                    an ongoing     basistoto
                                                           the  protests,
                                                              expose    andISD   researchers
                                                                              analyse  hateful discovered       a number
                                                                                                   disinformation            of ad
                                                                                                                     campaigns
campaigns     that appear
 around COVID-19             to contravene
                        and more      broadly inFacebook’s
                                                  the run upad   to policies
                                                                    the US 2020including:
                                                                                     election, informing grassroots and policy
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
•during
    A network      of pages
          the election        running a probable
                          to marginalise                scam by
                                             communities,          targeting
                                                                push    divisiveolder users with
                                                                                 narratives           protest-related
                                                                                                and undermine            ads thatusing a
                                                                                                                    democracy,
 mixpromise     “free” books
      of data analytics,    OSINTin exchange     for credit
                                      research and     policycard   information;
                                                               analysis.
• Ads posted by political representatives and/or candidates that advocate violence towards protesters;
 Summarised below are the methodologies utilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
•keyApparel stores
     findings      selling
              of the       merchandise advocating and glorifying violence against protesters and looters.   
                     research.

Despite
 For moreimprovements
            informationtoon both
                             ourthe  policies
                                  ongoing     around political
                                            research,          advertising
                                                        including how youon     Facebook
                                                                              can         and the
                                                                                  get involved  orassociated
                                                                                                   support our
transparency
 work, pleaseenabled
                sign upbytothe
                            ourplatform’s ad library, there remain critical issues with the enforcement of
                                mailing list,
policies that
 or get in    ostensibly
           touch         ban violent, fraudulent or misleading advertising, as demonstrated by the case
                  at info@isdglobal.org.
studies below. Even where action is taken on violating ad content, such a response is often reactive and
delayed, after hundreds, thousands, or potentially even millions of users have already been served those
ads on their feeds. The recent removal of ads connected to President Trump’s re-election campaign, which
contained a Nazi hate symbol3 is a case in point: 88 ads remained online for around 24 hours before action
was taken by the platform, and garnered over a million impressions in that time frame alone4.

                             www.isdglobal.org
                             www.isdglobal.org                 POBox
                                                              PO  Box75769
                                                                      75769| London
                                                                             | London| SW1P
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                                                                                              9ER| UK
                                                                                                   | UK			                                  11
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                        ISD briefing
                                                                                                Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                                Profit and  Protest

Vetting processes are supposedly in place for12th    Maythey
                                               ads before  2020launch to the public, but many that violate

                                Far-right exploitation
Facebook’s Terms of Service, and which promote violence, false information or scams, still make it through
the net and ultimately profit the platform. The case studies below underscore the breadth of harm still being
perpetrated through paid advertising, and the reliance on third parties to report violations for takedown,
                                     of Covid-19
despite the resources at Facebook’s disposal.

Case Study 1: Network of Facebook Pages spend more than $170k on ads
     ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
using protest narratives in suspected scam aimed at older users
A network of at least five Facebook pages has spent more than US$170,000 on ads in a campaign
         ISD and
that analysts       BBC
               believe to Click  Investigation
                          be a scam.   The ads areanalyses      far right at
                                                    targeted specifically exploitation     of Covid-19
                                                                             older users (55+) and offer them
free books related to 2nd amendment     rights, survival training and the so-called
      disinformation and uncovers massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19       “deep  state”. The ads use
deceptive narratives related to the Black Lives Matter protests and riots across the US and direct users to
web pages where, to receive the “free”disinformation
                                        book, they are askedon Facebook.
                                                                to supply credit card information.

The ads on all five pages follow a similarInvestigation    Briefing
                                            pattern. They rely        note:
                                                               on sensationalist and often false information
relating to ongoing tensions in the US, urging users to avail themselves of free book giveaways all written by
 This week,
‘Steven        ISD
         Bryant’.   released
                  Examples     a pioneering
                           of these              investigation
                                     materials can   be seen below.with BBC Click, mapping the scale and
nature of online disinformation around COVID-19 in the US, as well as its co-option by far
right actors. The investigation was featured on BBC World’s Click programme, as well as
on the BBC News website.

ISD researchers found that 34 known disinformation-hosting websites gathered the staggeringly high
volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
same time period, posts linking to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
US Center for Disease Control (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.

 Our analysis – which revealed hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
 engagements with known disinformation sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
 pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
 called ‘elites’ including Bill Gates, George Soros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
 about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
 referenced the virus as a tool of social control, a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
When   themoney
 to make    user clicks  on theindividuals
                    for these    ad, they are
                                            anddirected    to one of four
                                                 their institutions,   all ofwebsites
                                                                              which are(see   Appendixclaims.
                                                                                          unfounded      for full ISD’s
                                                                                                                  breakdown
                                                                                                                        Digital
of ads and  sites), all with a similar design.  The   sites  once   again urge   users  to  redeem
 Analysis Unit is working on an ongoing basis to expose and analyse hateful disinformation campaigns their free  books   by
referencing   Stevenand
 around COVID-19        Bryant’s
                           morealleged
                                  broadlytime   in run
                                           in the  the up
                                                        military
                                                             to theand
                                                                     USciting
                                                                        2020 fears,   such
                                                                               election,      as the possibility
                                                                                           informing   grassroots of and
                                                                                                                     homepolicy
invasion,  or surveillance   by the government,      that  can   be quelled   by the information
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used he  shares.
 during the election to marginalise communities, push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
Although   theanalytics,
 mix of data    domain registration
                          OSINT researchinformation
                                             and policyforanalysis.
                                                            all four websites is currently private, one site,
crisissurvivalsystem.com, was registered in 2018 to Anthony Trister of The Trister Marketing Group6,
                                                          5

Vancouver,
 Summarised   Canada.  
                 belowItareis also
                               the worth  noting thatutilised
                                   methodologies         the names     associated
                                                                   by ISD           with the
                                                                            researchers      fororiginal ad disclaimer,and
                                                                                                 this investigation,      andthe
the  confirmed   page   ownership
 key findings of the research.      varies  from  page    to  page.

ISD
 Forcould
     morenot   find any records
            information    on ourrelated
                                   ongoingto Steven
                                              research,Bryant or his books,
                                                           including         outside
                                                                       how you  can of
                                                                                     getthose  referenced
                                                                                          involved           on theour
                                                                                                      or support
linked websites.  According  to the  sites,
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,  Bryant  is a US  military veteran and founder   of a site called Patriots
Authority.  The site patriotauthority.com
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.      also lacks  registration  information, but contains   a series of survival
blogs7, allegedly written by Bryant himself. The contact information in the site’s privacy policy links to a
publishing company called THP Publishing, which, according to Zoom Info8 is a US$7 million company with
an address at a UPS store in Las Vegas.

The website, thehonestpatriot.com, redirects to free2ndamendment.com, which has an almost identical
design to those linked in the ads above, but is giving away a different 2nd amendment book by a different

                           www.isdglobal.org
                           www.isdglobal.org               POBox
                                                          PO  Box75769
                                                                  75769| London
                                                                         | London| SW1P
                                                                                   | SW1P9ER
                                                                                          9ER| UK
                                                                                               | UK			                             21
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                   ISD briefing
                                                                                           Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                           Profit and  Protest

                                             12th
author. Domain registration also lists ownership     May 2020
                                                 of thehonestpatriot.com to Anthony Trister of The Trister
Marketing Group.
                              Far-right exploitation
Who is Anthony Trister? Anthony Trister is an entrepreneur and online marketer based in Vancouver,
                                   of Covid-19
Canada. According to his LinkedIn profile9, he is the president of The Trister Marketing Group. His other
business, the Coffee Shop Millionaire10, promises to provide people with a course in online marketing skills
in order to become self-employed and work from home. The business has received a swathe of negative
reviews online11,12 and although not necessarily designated as a scam in these reviews, most of the

     ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
evaluations conclude that it does not deliver as promised and is not worth investing in.

The Coffee Shop Millionaire Facebook page contains two posts, one asking if other customers are receiving
support and
          ISDtheandother
                      BBCcalling
                            ClicktheInvestigation
                                      product a “complete scam”.
                                                    analyses    farTrister’s
                                                                     right social  media sites
                                                                             exploitation
                                                                                              13,14,15,16,17
                                                                                            of Covid-19      can be
found below, although most of his profiles have not been updated in a number of years. According to WhoIs
data18,disinformation
       Trister is currently,and   uncovers
                             or has            massive
                                     been, the domain    volumes
                                                      registrar of theof   engagement
                                                                        following sites:    with COVID-19
                                         disinformation on Facebook.

                                          Investigation Briefing note:

This week, ISD released a pioneering investigation with BBC Click, mapping the scale and
nature of online disinformation around COVID-19 in the US, as well as its co-option by far
right actors. The investigation was featured on BBC World’s Click programme, as well as
on the BBC News website.

ISD researchers found that 34 known disinformation-hosting websites gathered the staggeringly high
volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
same time period, posts linking to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
US Center for Disease Control (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.

 Our analysis – which revealed hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
 engagements with known disinformation sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
 pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
 called ‘elites’ including Bill Gates, George Soros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
Case   Study 2: Political representatives and candidates brandish weapons,
 about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
use   unfounded
 referenced  the virus‘Antifa’
                        as a tooland    looting
                                   of social        narratives
                                             control,  a purposefulin plot
                                                                      Facebook         ads populations, or a means
                                                                           to kill off certain
 to make money for these individuals and their institutions, all of which are unfounded claims. ISD’s Digital
In an announcement
 Analysis  Unit is workingononJune  26, Facebook
                                an ongoing            stated
                                               basis to expose that
                                                                 andpolitical
                                                                     analyse figures     will no longer campaigns
                                                                               hateful disinformation   be exempt from
its policies
 around      on hate
          COVID-19     speech
                     and  more and     incitement
                                 broadly   in the runtoupviolence.
                                                           to the USThe
                                                                     2020 following
                                                                             election,analysis
                                                                                        informingofgrassroots
                                                                                                    Facebook and
                                                                                                              adspolicy
                                                                                                                  by US
political representatives      or candidates     for office,  conducted    before    these  changes
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used  were announced,
found
 duringseveral    employing
         the election          unfounded
                       to marginalise         ‘Antifa’ narratives,
                                         communities,                with
                                                          push divisive     some even
                                                                         narratives        brandishing
                                                                                      and undermine     weapons and
                                                                                                       democracy, using a
advocating    violence   against   looters.
 mix of data analytics, OSINT research and policy analysis.

Marjorie Taylor Greene,
 Summarised      below area candidate   in Georgia’sutilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
                              the methodologies
14th  Congressional    District,
 key findings of the research.   spent between   $100-
$199 on a Facebook ad19 which shows her cocking
aFor
  large guninformation
      more  while threatening
                            on our“Antifa terrorists”
                                    ongoing           to including how you can get involved or support our
                                               research,
“stay the hell out  of Northwest   Georgia”.
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,    The  ad
was  aimed
 or get     at a large
        in touch       demographic, namely younger
                   at info@isdglobal.org.
men (under age 45) and older women (over age 45).
According to Greene20, the video had been viewed
more than 1.2 million times before it was removed
on June 6 for violating Facebook’s ad policy. The
ad removal was subsequently covered on Fox and
Friends on June 7.21

                         www.isdglobal.org
                         www.isdglobal.org              POBox
                                                       PO  Box75769
                                                               75769| London
                                                                      | London| SW1P
                                                                                | SW1P9ER
                                                                                       9ER| UK
                                                                                            | UK			                           31
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                   ISD briefing
                                                                                           Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                           Profit and  Protest

                                                 12th May 2020

                              Far-right exploitation
Paul Broun, a Republican candidate in Georgia’s
10th Congressional District, posted a Facebook ad22
on May 30 that included a video of him encouraging
                                   of Covid-19
people to use their “liberty machines”, namely
AR-15s, to defend themselves from “looting hordes
from Atlanta or a tyrannical government”. The
ad was online for five days before being flagged

     ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
to Facebook and removed, and seen by between
50,000-60,000 users in that period. The ad mainly
targeted men over the age of 45 living in Georgia. A
similar ad23
          ISDcontaining
               and BBC  a screenshot from the video
                           Click Investigation     analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
in which Broun is holding an AR-15 with the caption
       disinformation
“Liberty Machine” (postedand    uncovers
                            on June          massive
                                    8) has also since volumes of engagement with COVID-19
been removed.                          disinformation on Facebook.
Other political figures used President Trump’s    declaration
                                          Investigation       that Antifa
                                                           Briefing       should be designated as a terrorist
                                                                      note:
organization to post polls asking their followers whether they agreed with the statement. These included
Missouri candidates
  This week,          Doug Collins
               ISD released
                                   24
                                     , Jeff Shawan
                               a pioneering
                                                   25
                                                     , Don Mayhewwith
                                                 investigation
                                                                   26
                                                                      andBBC
                                                                          HollyClick,
                                                                                Rehder 27
                                                                                         . Polls in the
                                                                                      mapping       ads can be and
                                                                                                        scale  used
tonature
   collect of
           information
              online disinformation around COVID-19 in the US, as well as its co-option by off
                        on custom   audiences   from   engagement   data or click-throughs, or  to lead people  far
Facebook onto external platforms and websites.
 right actors. The investigation was featured on BBC World’s Click programme, as well as
 on the
New YorkBBC  News website.
         congressional candidate George Mitris released an ad28 that linked to a video published by
right-wing sting outlet29,30 Project Veritas, promising to “expose” the group Rose City Antifa through secret
 ISD researchers
recorded         found that 34 known disinformation-hosting websites gathered the staggeringly high
          meetings.
 volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
 same time
Please      period,
       see the      posts linking
               Appendix           to list
                           for a full     WHO’s
                                      theof      websitein
                                            ads analysed received  6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
                                                           this study.
 US Center for Disease Control (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.

 Our analysis – which revealed hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
Case  Study 3: Online clothing stores advertise products advocating violence
 engagements with known disinformation sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
against  looters
 how extremist  groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
 pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
Several   Facebook
 called ‘elites’        pages Bill
                  including     thatGates,
                                       sell apparel
                                                GeorgeandSoros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
sporting   goods    published      ads   for  products
 about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
that  advocate
 referenced    theviolence
                   virus as aagainst      looters.
                                tool of social        This a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
                                                  control,
includes  two   pages,   ASMDSS     31
                                       and  American
 to make money for these individuals and their           AFinstitutions,
                                                            32
                                                              ,          all of which are unfounded claims. ISD’s Digital
that advertised
 Analysis  Unit isthe   sameon
                   working     t-shirt  with thebasis
                                   an ongoing       logo:to expose and analyse hateful disinformation campaigns
“Everybody    looty until
 around COVID-19       andthemoreroof  starts in
                                     broadly    to the
                                                   shooty”.
                                                       run up to the US 2020 election, informing grassroots and policy
The
 responses. Our research will continue to track in
     t-shirt contains    an image,    often   circulated   how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
aduring
  memethe known    as Rooftop
              election            Koreanscommunities,
                         to marginalise
                                             33
                                               . During the push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
1992
 mix ofLos Angeles
        data          riots,OSINT
               analytics,    Korean     business
                                    research     andowners
                                                      policy analysis.
defended their premises by stationing themselves
on rooftops with
 Summarised         rifles.are
                  below     These
                                theads    were subsequently
                                      methodologies        utilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
removed
 key findings of the research. ad policy.  
           for violating   Facebook’s

As
 Forwell
     moreas the above, a podcast
             information   on ourpage  calledresearch,
                                  ongoing      Republic including
                                                        Keeper Podcast 34
                                                                  how you posted an ad
                                                                            can get    for a t-shirt
                                                                                    involved         depicting
                                                                                               or support   oura
gun  with  the text “LOOT THIS”.
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.
Liberty Apparel Co. is a clothing store that sells pro-Trump items through its website and Facebook page.
The page is run by Arianne Mercer, who started sharing the website across pro-Trump Facebook groups35
at the end of April, claiming that Etsy had deactivated her shop for allegedly “promoting hate”.
Since May 24 the page has posted 22 ads, all of which have since been removed for violating Facebook’s
ad policies.

                         www.isdglobal.org
                         www.isdglobal.org              POBox
                                                       PO  Box75769
                                                               75769| London
                                                                      | London| SW1P
                                                                                | SW1P9ER
                                                                                       9ER| UK
                                                                                            | UK			                           41
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                                ISD briefing
                                                                                                        Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                                        Profit and  Protest

                                                        12th May 2020

                                  Far-right exploitation
These ads range from free t-shirt giveaway
competitions36, to those containing provocative
and misleading memes37 that ask users to follow
                                       of Covid-19
the page. Another ad that has since been removed38
contained a screenshot of the fake Antifa Twitter
account, which was linked to the defunct white
nationalist group Identity Evropa by a Twitter

     ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
spokesperson39. The ad was mainly targeted at men
in the 55-64 age group.

Please seeISD
            theand
               Appendix
                   BBCfor  a fullInvestigation
                        Click     list of ads analysed
                                                   analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
in this study.
    disinformation and uncovers massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19
                            disinformation on Facebook.
Conclusions and Implications
                                                Investigation Briefing note:
The examples outlined here present a number of issues related to the Facebook ad library and the policies
 This week,
designed      ISD released
         to prevent  abuse or aexploitation
                                pioneering     investigation
                                            of ads                with
                                                   on the platform.      BBC Click,
                                                                      According       mappingown
                                                                                  to Facebook’s    thepolicies
                                                                                                       scale 40and
                                                                                                                ,
 nature
ads must of
         notonline
              containdisinformation      around
                      content that “exploits       COVID-19
                                              crises            in thepolitical
                                                     or controversial    US, asorwell   asissues
                                                                                   social  its co-option   by far
                                                                                                 for commercial
purposes”; a large
 right actors.     number
                 The      of the ads described
                     investigation                above on
                                       was featured      explicitly violate this
                                                            BBC World’s          provision,
                                                                              Click         revealingas
                                                                                     programme,       delayed
                                                                                                        well asand
patchy enforcement.
 on the BBC News website.
ISD’s recent evaluation
 ISD researchers
                             41
                    found that  of34
                                   platform
                                      knownpolicy      enforcement during
                                               disinformation-hosting              the Coronavirus
                                                                                websites    gatheredpandemic         includedhigh
                                                                                                         the staggeringly       similar
case  studies,
 volume    of 80inmillion
                    which ads     clearly violated
                            interactions             theFacebook
                                             on public    policies inbetween
                                                                        place toJanuary
                                                                                    protectand
                                                                                             users  from
                                                                                                April,     fraud,
                                                                                                       2020.       scams and
                                                                                                               For context,  in the
harmful   content.    Gaps   in response     are not  contained      to the   protests,  but  exist across
 same time period, posts linking to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website    issue  areas   and  crises.
                                                                                                                                    of the
Such   trends  suggest    that   the  system    as a whole   is not   prepared     to deal  with viral lies,
 US Center for Disease Control (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.    targeted    hate
or scams, no matter the urgency of the situation.
 Our analysis – which revealed hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
The  ease and relative
 engagements               low cost
                   with known           of posting ansites
                                   disinformation       ad, which     can then
                                                             – provides           be seen by
                                                                           an important         millions,base
                                                                                             evidence      presents    an opening
                                                                                                                for understanding
that is easily  exploited   in  the  current   system.   This  is seen   in  the  potential  scam
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit   outlined    above,   whichthe
                                                                                                                                 not
only promotes      conspiracies     and   uses  the  protests   to  incite  fear,  but  also demonstrates
 pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-          the  opacity  of
Facebook’s    ad payment
 called ‘elites’   includingdisclaimer,
                                 Bill Gates,with   the different
                                               George     Soros, the companies,
                                                                         Rothschilds organisations    or individuals
                                                                                           and Jeff Bezos     and false behind   the
                                                                                                                          information
payments    proving    difficult  to  trace.  
 about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
 referenced the virus as a tool of social control, a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
The  examples
 to make   money  in this briefing
                     for these       show theand
                                  individuals    results
                                                     theirofinstitutions,
                                                              the platform’s      reticence
                                                                             all of which are tounfounded
                                                                                                 deal with potential      harmful
                                                                                                               claims. ISD’s   Digital
content
 Analysisfrom
           Unit political
                 is working figures.
                                on anInongoing
                                          this case,  theto
                                                   basis   adexpose
                                                               platform andwas   used hateful
                                                                              analyse   by political candidates campaigns
                                                                                                 disinformation      to incite
violence.  The incitement
 around COVID-19       and more  of violence
                                     broadly isinprohibited
                                                  the run upin  toanyone’s
                                                                    the US 2020 ads, election,
                                                                                      yet the examples
                                                                                                informing  highlighted
                                                                                                              grassrootshere     show
                                                                                                                            and policy
Facebook’s    inability  to  detect    and  prohibit  firearms   42
                                                                    brandished      in ads, despite
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used  specific   policies  that ban
that typethe
 during    of election
               content.to Although
                             marginalisethe ads  in questionpush
                                             communities,       weredivisive
                                                                        eventually     removed,
                                                                                 narratives   andthey     were still
                                                                                                   undermine          seen by millions
                                                                                                                  democracy,      using a
of people
 mix  of data. analytics, OSINT research and policy analysis.
           43

Similar  shortcomings
  Summarised      below arearehighlighted   by apparelutilised
                               the methodologies         ads, which useresearchers
                                                                by ISD narratives and  imagery
                                                                                     for        that incite or and the
                                                                                         this investigation,
promote    violence.  44
                         Incitement
  key findings of the research.       to violence  is prohibited from Facebook  ads, but  enforcement   gaps again
enable those seeking to profit from hateful and polarising content, with only reactive action from Facebook
inFor
   themore
        casesinformation
              detected and    onreported  by ISD’s
                                  our ongoing       researchers.
                                                research,   including how you can get involved or support our
  work, please sign up to our mailing list,
Facebook’s     ad policies,
  or get in touch              while comprehensive, are arguably meaningless unless they are enforced
                    at info@isdglobal.org.
universally and robustly. There is increasing proof of consistent policy violations in a number of issue
areas and geographies45,46,47. At a time when social and political tensions are roused, it is clear that
self-regulation of ads is intrinsically limited. ISD has long argued the need for independent democratic
oversight of social media companies’ policies and decision-making processes, including those regarding
advertising. It is in the public interest for users to understand how and why they are being targeted online,
and for there to be independent oversight - whether from researchers, regulators or both - to scrutinise
and respond to malpractice.

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Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                             ISD briefing
                                                                                     Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                     Profit and  Protest

                                              12th May 2020

                            Far-right exploitation
In Europe, the Code of Practice on Disinformation (CoPD)48 made significant moves in this direction in the
course of 2019, but still relied on self-reporting from tech companies to determine the scale of the problem
and the efficacy of current responses. A recent report from ISD49 evaluated the enforcement of the CoPD
                                 of Covid-19
and provided a set of recommendations to inform the continuing efforts to counter disinformation. Without
stricter demands for transparency from technology companies, whose business model relies largely on the
sale of advertising, those seeking to profit off harm, lies and scams will continue to find a safe haven online.

    ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
         ISD and BBC Click Investigation analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
      disinformation and uncovers massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19
                               disinformation on Facebook.

                                       Investigation Briefing note:

This week, ISD released a pioneering investigation with BBC Click, mapping the scale and
nature of online disinformation around COVID-19 in the US, as well as its co-option by far
right actors. The investigation was featured on BBC World’s Click programme, as well as
on the BBC News website.

ISD researchers found that 34 known disinformation-hosting websites gathered the staggeringly high
volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
same time period, posts linking to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
US Center for Disease Control (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.

Our analysis – which revealed hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
engagements with known disinformation sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
called ‘elites’ including Bill Gates, George Soros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
referenced the virus as a tool of social control, a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
to make money for these individuals and their institutions, all of which are unfounded claims. ISD’s Digital
Analysis Unit is working on an ongoing basis to expose and analyse hateful disinformation campaigns
around COVID-19 and more broadly in the run up to the US 2020 election, informing grassroots and policy
responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
during the election to marginalise communities, push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
mix of data analytics, OSINT research and policy analysis.

Summarised below are the methodologies utilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
key findings of the research.

For more information on our ongoing research, including how you can get involved or support our
work, please sign up to our mailing list,
or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.

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                                                                                        | UK			                         61
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                       ISD briefing
                                                                                               Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                               Profit and  Protest

Appendix: Facebook Ads Data                        12th May 2020
          Case Study One Ads
                               Far-right exploitation
Page Name
Patriots Unite                      of Covid-19
                                Ad type
                                Free copy of Steven Bryant’s ‘Deep State Exposed’
Total ad spend                  Ad text
$5,954                          I JUST finished “DEEP STATE EXPOSED”. Hands DOWN the best info I’ve found

      ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
Total no ads/page
380
                                on exposing the real truth of how the strings are pulled in Washington, and how
                                powerless our elected officials really are. I have gone from afraid to empowered,
                                I know what I need to do to fight back with what I know now
             ISD and BBC Click
Ad disclaimer info
                           Link toInvestigation analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
Grant Alan Johnston
        disinformation and     uncovers massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19
                           https://dsx.freepatriotbooks.com/
                           Targeting disinformation on Facebook.
Page created
25 May, 2020
                                Women +65
Page owner                                  Investigation Briefing note:
CANTEEN
                             Ad type
LOUISVILLE
 This week,KY,ISD released      a pioneering     investigation
                             Free   copy of Steven   Bryant’s ‘Deepwith
                                                                    StateBBC Click, mapping the scale and
                                                                         Exposed’
40213
 nature of online disinformation around COVID-19 in the US, as well as its co-option by far
+15023610031                 Ad text
 right actors. The investigation         was featured on BBC World’s Click programme, as well as
                             America, WAKE UP! Do your research NOW. Find out who is REALLY running
 on the BBC News website.    America. Hint: It’s NOT Trump and someone FAR WORSE than Russia. For today
                             only, get a copy to uncover the dirty truth. You DESERVE to know this! ACT NOW
 ISD researchers found that 34  known
                             while       disinformation-hosting
                                     we can  give it away.         websites gathered the staggeringly high
 volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
 same time period, posts linking  to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
                             Link to
                             https://dsx.freepatriotbooks.com/
 US Center for Disease Control     (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.
                                Targeting
 Our analysis – which revealed   hundreds
                             Women       +65 of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
 engagements with known disinformation sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
                             Ad type a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
 pandemic online, and highlights
                             Free
 called ‘elites’ including Bill     copyGeorge
                                Gates,      of Steven    Bryant’s
                                                      Soros,  the ‘Deep    State Exposed’
                                                                   Rothschilds       and Jeff(video)
                                                                                                Bezos and false information
 about their role in the creation  or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
                             Ad text
 referenced the virus as a tool
                             Whatsocial
                                 of  if I toldcontrol,
                                                you thata purposeful
                                                          our electedplot     to killhave
                                                                         officials    off certain populations,
                                                                                           absolutely  ZERO poweror a in
                                                                                                                      means
 to make money for these individuals        and   their institutions,  all of which   are  unfounded
                             Washington… Not even TRUMP himself... And instead, all of the true power   claims. ISD’s  Digital
                                                                                                                         is
 Analysis Unit is working on held
                              an ongoing       basis  to expose   and  analyse   hateful    disinformation
                                    by a corrupt group of people…Who’s entire driving force is nothing other campaigns
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                                                                   it’s 2020   election,
                                                                        the truth…    and informing   grassroots
                                                                                           it’s what Trump         and policy
                                                                                                             has been
 responses. Our research willwarning
                               continue   us about. Alone, he’s helpless against their tyranny… But with used
                                             to  track  how  disinformation     and   weaponised    hate  is being  our help?
 during the election to marginalise
                             We can put an end to them once and for all. Tap below to expose the truth using
                                        communities,       push  divisive  narratives    and  undermine    democracy,    and a
 mix of data analytics, OSINTkeep
                               research     and    policy analysis.
                                     your own family protected from their corruption.
 Summarised below are the  Linkmethodologies
                               to             utilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
                           https://dsx.freepatriotbooks.com/
 key findings of the research.
                                Targeting
 For more information on Women
                           our ongoing
                                  +55 research, including how you can get involved or support our
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.
                                Ad type
                                Free copy of Steven Bryant’s Crisis Survival System
                                Ad text
                                The police will NOT protect you. You need to learn to defend yourself and family!
                                Trump and his followers want you defenseless but we say NO MORE! Our hand
                                guide has already saved thousands of lives and we want to help you too! For

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Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                 ISD briefing
                                                                                         Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                         Profit and  Protest

                                                12th May 2020

                             Far-right exploitation
Page Name
Patriots Unite                    of Covid-19
                              today only, we are giving it away for FREE. Tap below to get yours.
                              Link to
Total ad spend                https://crisissurvivalsystem.com/
$5,954

      ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
Total no ads/page
380
                              Notes
                              Domain now private, but registered in 2018 to: Anthony Trister, anthonytrister@
                              gmail.com The Trister Marketing Group, 716-938 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC
             ISD and BBC Click
Ad disclaimer info              Investigation analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
                           Targeting
Grant Alan Johnston        Women     +65 massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19
        disinformation and uncovers
Page created
                                      disinformation on Facebook.
25 May, 2020                  Ad type

Page owner
                              Free copy of Steven Bryant’sBriefing
                                        Investigation      Crisis Survival
                                                                    note:System
CANTEEN                 Ad text
LOUISVILLE
 This week,KY,
            ISD released  a pioneering
                        Riots,  looting, tearinvestigation
                                              gas.. this is whatwith    BBC Click,
                                                                  has become          mappingmartial
                                                                                 of America...Is  the scale    and
                                                                                                          law next?
40213                   We need to around
 nature of online disinformation      learn to prepare
                                                COVID-19  ourselves
                                                                in theforUS,
                                                                          what
                                                                             asiswell
                                                                                  to come...
                                                                                        as itsStop waiting around
                                                                                               co-option     by far
+15023610031            & start  preparing  now  before    its too late. Learn the  7 items  that will save you &
 right actors. The investigation was featured on BBC World’s Click programme, as well as
                        your families life during this crisis
 on the BBC News website.
                              Link to
 ISD researchers found that 34 known disinformation-hosting websites gathered the staggeringly high
                             https://crisissurvivalsystem.com/
 volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
                             Notes
 same time period, posts linking to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
                             Domain now private, but registered in 2018 to: Anthony Trister, anthonytrister@
 US Center for Disease Control (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.
                             gmail.com The Trister Marketing Group, 716-938 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC
 Our analysis – which revealed   hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
                             Targeting
 engagements with known disinformation
                             Women +45, 55,    sites
                                                 65 – provides an important evidence base for understanding
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
 pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
                             Ad type
 called ‘elites’ including Bill Gates, George Soros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
                             Free copy of Steven Bryant’s Crisis Survival System
 about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
 referenced the virus as a tool  of social control, a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
                             Ad text
 to make money for these individuals
                             America isand    theirMode
                                          in Crisis institutions,
                                                          & mostallofofuswhich areprepared...
                                                                          are not  unfounded  areclaims. ISD’s
                                                                                                   you? Act NOWDigital
                                                                                                                  &
 Analysis Unit is working on Tap
                              an ongoing    basis to expose   and analyse   hateful disinformation
                                   below to help protect your family before it gets even worse!      campaigns
 around COVID-19 and more broadly in the run up to the US 2020 election, informing grassroots and policy
                             Link to
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
                             https://crisissurvivalsystem.com/
 during the election to marginalise communities, push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
 mix of data analytics, OSINTNotes
                               research and policy analysis.
                             Domain now private, but registered in 2018 to: Anthony Trister, anthonytrister@
 Summarised below are the       methodologies
                             gmail.com              utilised
                                          The Trister         by ISD
                                                       Marketing      researchers
                                                                   Group,   716-938for
                                                                                     HowethisStreet,
                                                                                              investigation, and the
 key findings of the research.
                             Vancouver, BC
                              Targeting
 For more information on our ongoing research, including how you can get involved or support our
                           Women +45, 55, 65
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.
                              Ad type
                              Free copy of Steven Bryant’s The Essential 2nd Amendment Handbook
                              Ad text
                              Our gun rights are at risk. The democrats have already taken too much,
                              don’t let them take this too! The liberals hate we are giving away this 2nd
                              Amendment handbook for free. But we don’t care. It’s a must have for All

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                         www.isdglobal.org             POBox
                                                      PO  Box75769
                                                              75769| London
                                                                     | London| SW1P
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                                                                                      9ER| UK
                                                                                           | UK			                          81
Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests - ISD
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                            ISD briefing
                                                                                    Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                    Profit and  Protest

                                             12th May 2020

                            Far-right exploitation
Page Name
Patriots Unite                   of Covid-19
                            TRUE American Patriots.
                            Link to
Total ad spend              https://2ndamendmentessentials.com/
$5,954

      ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
Total no ads/page
380
                            Targeting
                            Men +55, +65

             ISD and BBC Click
Ad disclaimer info               Investigation analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
                           Ad type
Grant Alan Johnston
        disinformation and Freeuncovers     massive
                                  copy of Steven      volumes
                                                 Bryant’s         of engagement
                                                          The Essential            with
                                                                        2nd Amendment   COVID-19
                                                                                      Handbook
Page created
                           Ad text
                                      disinformation on Facebook.
25 May, 2020
                        When I heard the gunshots I immediately turned on the news... and realized
Page owner                        Investigation
                        the RIOTERS were just a fewBriefing   note:
                                                    blocks away...Heading     right towards my home.
CANTEEN                 Thank GOD I knew my Second Amendment rights, thanks to this book. EVERY
LOUISVILLE
 This week,KY,
            ISD released  a pioneering
                        American         investigation
                                 should grab  a FREE copywith
                                                           of theBBC
                                                                  2nd Click,     mapping
                                                                         Amendment           the scale
                                                                                        Handbook  NOWand
                                                                                                       and
40213                   PROTECT your
 nature of online disinformation      property
                                   around       and family…
                                            COVID-19        before
                                                         in the  US,it’sastoo late.as its co-option by far
                                                                            well
+15023610031
 right actors. The investigation
                        Link to   was featured on BBC World’s Click programme, as well as
 on the BBC News website.
                        https://2ndamendmentessentials.com/
                            Targeting
 ISD researchers found that 34 known disinformation-hosting websites gathered the staggeringly high
                             Men +45, +55, +65
 volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
 same time period, posts linking to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
 US Center for Disease Control     (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.
                             Ad type
                             Free copy of Steven Bryant’s The Essential 2nd Amendment Handbook
 Our analysis – which revealed hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
                             Ad text
 engagements with known disinformation sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
                             The left wants to watch America burn for their own corrupt agenda. They love
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
                             the idea of martial law to take away our constitutional rights...Anything they can
 pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
                             do to stop Trump & control us. Learn the 7 skills needed to protect our families
 called ‘elites’ including Bill Gates, George Soros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
                             and our Second Amendment Rights. Tap Below Now for your FREE Book...Don’t
 about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
                             Let The Liberals Win
 referenced the virus as a tool of social control, a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
 to make money for these individuals
                             Link to    and their institutions, all of which are unfounded claims. ISD’s Digital
 Analysis Unit is working on https://2ndamendmentessentials.com/
                              an ongoing basis to expose and analyse hateful disinformation campaigns
 around COVID-19 and more broadly in the run up to the US 2020 election, informing grassroots and policy
                             Targeting
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
                             Men, Women + 55
 during the election to marginalise communities, push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
 mix of data analytics, OSINT research and policy analysis.

 Summarised below are the methodologies utilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
 key findings of the research.

 For more information on our ongoing research, including how you can get involved or support our
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.

                       www.isdglobal.org
                       www.isdglobal.org            POBox
                                                   PO  Box75769
                                                           75769| London
                                                                  | London| SW1P
                                                                            | SW1P9ER
                                                                                   9ER| UK
                                                                                        | UK			                        91
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                   ISD briefing
                                                                                           Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                           Profit and  Protest

Page Name                     Ad type
                                                 12th May 2020

                              Far-right exploitation
Safe and Sound in 2020        Free copy of Steven Bryant’s Crisis Survival System
Total ad spend                Ad text
$6,528
Total no ads/page
                                   of Covid-19
                              When the LOOTERS come knocking on our doors, will we let them in? NOT A
                              CHANCE. If one thing’s for certain about the current civil unrest, it’s that we
310                           MUST know how to keep our families as safe as possible. Grab a FREE copy
                              of Crisis Survival System right now to learn the 7 MUST-have items to keep
Ad disclaimer info            your family safe and protected at home or away… But HURRY. These are being
      ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
Kin Ngai Yeung
Page created
                              grabbed like hot cakes due to the current unrest
                              Link to
22 May, 2020             https://crisissurvivalsystem.com/
           ISD and BBC Click  Investigation analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
       disinformation and
Page owner
                            uncovers massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19
                         Notes
SIX, JANN                Domain now private, but registered in 2018 to: Anthony Trister, anthonytrister@
LANCASTER CA,                     disinformation on Facebook.
                         gmail.com The Trister Marketing Group, 716-938 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC
93534
+16619510444                  Targeting   Investigation Briefing note:
                              Men, Women + 55
 This week, ISD released a pioneering investigation with BBC Click, mapping the scale and
 nature of online disinformation
                        Ad type    around COVID-19 in the US, as well as its co-option by far
 right actors. The investigation
                        Free copy was  featured
                                  of Steven      onCrisis
                                            Bryant’s BBCSurvival
                                                          World’s  Click programme, as well as
                                                                 System
 on the BBC News website.
                        Ad text
                             ANTIFA is making their way into residential neighborhoods… And we all have a
 ISD researchers found that 34 known disinformation-hosting
                             responsibility to know exactly howwebsites    gathered
                                                                 to keep our  homesthe    staggeringly
                                                                                       SAFE               highkeep
                                                                                             so that we can
 volume of 80 million interactions    on public Facebook between  January and  April, 2020. For context,
                             our families SAFE. Grab a FREE copy of Crisis Survival System and learn how in theto
 same time period, posts linking
                             make   yourWHO’s
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                                                 an unbreakable  6.2 million interactions,
                                                                           before            with the website of the
                                                                                  it’s TOO LATE.
 US Center for Disease Control (CDC) receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.
                              Link to
                             https://crisissurvivalsystem.com/
 Our analysis – which revealed   hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
 engagements with known disinformation
                             Notes              sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
 how extremist groups, disinformation       actors
                             Domain now private,   andbutfringe  medical
                                                            registered  in communities    are working
                                                                           2018 to: Anthony             to exploit the
                                                                                              Trister, anthonytrister@
 pandemic online, and highlights     a  marked    increase    in  conversations    within  far right
                             gmail.com The Trister Marketing Group, 716-938 Howe Street, Vancouver,   circles aboutBC so-
 called ‘elites’ including Bill Gates, George Soros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
                             Targeting
 about their role in the creation  or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
                             Men,
 referenced the virus as a tool     Women
                                 of social     +45, +65
                                            control, a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
 to make money for these individuals and their institutions, all of which are unfounded claims. ISD’s Digital
 Analysis Unit is working on Ad
                              antype
                                 ongoing basis to expose and analyse hateful disinformation campaigns
 around COVID-19 and moreFree  broadly
                                    copyinofthe  run up
                                              Steven      to the Crisis
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                                                                        Survival      informing grassroots and policy
                                                                                 System
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
                             Ad text communities, push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
 during the election to marginalise
 mix of data analytics, OSINTRiots   are spilling
                               research           out into
                                           and policy        neighborhoods… Police are shooting at unarmed
                                                        analysis.
                             civilians in their own homes… And on top of that, there’s a massive health crisis
 Summarised below are the    that’s  still poweringutilised
                                methodologies         throughby  theISD
                                                                     country.  So of course,
                                                                         researchers          it makes
                                                                                       for this          sense if you’re
                                                                                                 investigation,   and the
                             feeling
 key findings of the research.         a bit scared  right  now.   But there’s really only one  thing  you MUST do
                             during these tough times… And it’s to keep your family safe and protected.
 For more information on Linkourtoongoing research, including how you can get involved or support our
 work, please sign up to our    mailing list,
                             https://crisissurvivalsystem.com/
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.
                              Notes
                              Domain now private, but registered in 2018 to: Anthony Trister, anthonytrister@
                              gmail.com The Trister Marketing Group, 716-938 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC
                              Targeting
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Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                            ISD briefing
                                                                                    Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                    Profit and  Protest

Page Name                   Ad type
                                             12th May 2020

                            Far-right exploitation
Safe and Sound in 2020      Free copy of Steven Bryant’s The Essential 2nd Amendment Handbook
Total ad spend              Ad text
$6,528
Total no ads/page
                                 of Covid-19
                            Protests and looting could threaten our 2nd Amendment. Know these 7 rules
                            so they can never take away your right to protect yourself. Show your support of
310                         our rights and get the free “2nd Amendment Essentials” Handbook. “My rights
                            will protect my family and I during these uncertain times. They’ll have to rip my
Ad disclaimer info          gun out of my hands with what I know now.” - Daniel G. 52, Illinois
      ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
Kin Ngai Yeung
Page created
                            Link to
                            https://2ndamendmentessentials.com/
22 May, 2020
          ISD and BBC Click  Investigation analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
                        Targeting
       disinformation and
Page owner
                            uncovers
                        Various   - mainlymassive
                                           men of allvolumes
                                                     ages    of engagement with COVID-19
SIX, JANN
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                            Ad type
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+16619510444                Free copy of Steven Bryant’sBriefing
                                      Investigation      The Essential
                                                                 note:2nd Amendment Handbook
                            Ad text
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                        Our               investigation
                            founding fathers  wrote our 2nd with  BBC Click,
                                                              Amendment        mapping
                                                                            Rights         the
                                                                                   to protect usscale
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                            Link to
 ISD researchers found that 34  known disinformation-hosting websites gathered the staggeringly high
                             https://2ndamendmentessentials.com/
 volume of 80 million interactions on public Facebook between January and April, 2020. For context, in the
                             Targeting
 same time period, posts linking to the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions, with the website of the
                             Men,(CDC)
 US Center for Disease Control      Women   45,55,65+
                                         receiving 6.4 million interactions through posts on public Facebook.

 Our analysis – which revealed hundreds of thousands of far right posts around COVID-19 and millions of
 engagements with known disinformation sites – provides an important evidence base for understanding
 how extremist groups, disinformation actors and fringe medical communities are working to exploit the
 pandemic online, and highlights a marked increase in conversations within far right circles about so-
 called ‘elites’ including Bill Gates, George Soros, the Rothschilds and Jeff Bezos and false information
 about their role in the creation or spread of the virus. The conversations monitored by ISD researchers
 referenced the virus as a tool of social control, a purposeful plot to kill off certain populations, or a means
 to make money for these individuals and their institutions, all of which are unfounded claims. ISD’s Digital
 Analysis Unit is working on an ongoing basis to expose and analyse hateful disinformation campaigns
 around COVID-19 and more broadly in the run up to the US 2020 election, informing grassroots and policy
 responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
 during the election to marginalise communities, push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
 mix of data analytics, OSINT research and policy analysis.

 Summarised below are the methodologies utilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
 key findings of the research.

 For more information on our ongoing research, including how you can get involved or support our
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.

                       www.isdglobal.org
                       www.isdglobal.org            POBox
                                                   PO  Box75769
                                                           75769| London
                                                                  | London| SW1P
                                                                            | SW1P9ER
                                                                                   9ER| UK
                                                                                        | UK			                       111
Covid-19 disinformation briefing No.3
                                                                                                                          ISD briefing
                                                                                                  Far-right exploitation   of Covid-19
                                                                                                                  Profit and  Protest

Page Name                        Ad type
                                                     12th May 2020

                                Far-right exploitation
Patriots Stand Together          Free copy of Steven Bryant’s The Essential 2nd Amendment Handbook
Total ad spend                   Ad text
$93,566
Total no ads/page
                                     of Covid-19
                                 Once they declare Martial Law, make SURE your guns can’t be confiscated.
                                 Know these 4 rules to the 2nd Amendment so you can defend yourself and your
640                              family. “Thank you STEVEN! Following your guide has given me great confidence
                                 with my gun. I feel safer and more protected during these uncertain times.” -
Ad disclaimer info               Irene W. 42, Minnesota. Get a free copy of “2nd Amendment Essentials” rush
      ISDISD and BBC Click investigation
Trizzie Truong
Page created
                                 shipped to your door. Supply is extremely limited.
                                 Link to
15 May, 2020             https://2ndamendmentessentials.com/
           ISD and BBC Click  Investigation analyses far right exploitation of Covid-19
       disinformation and
Page owner
                             uncovers massive volumes of engagement with COVID-19
                         Targeting
“Not available: This     Men 45, 55, 65+
Page can run ads about             disinformation on Facebook.
social issues, elections
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  responses. Our research will continue to track how disinformation and weaponised hate is being used
  during the election to marginalise
                                Link to communities, push divisive narratives and undermine democracy, using a
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                                  research and policy analysis.

 Summarised below are the  Targeting
                              methodologies utilised by ISD researchers for this investigation, and the
                           Women 45, 55, 65+
 key findings of the research.

 For more information on our ongoing research, including how you can get involved or support our
 work, please sign up to our mailing list,
 or get in touch at info@isdglobal.org.

                           www.isdglobal.org
                           www.isdglobal.org                POBox
                                                           PO  Box75769
                                                                   75769| London
                                                                          | London| SW1P
                                                                                    | SW1P9ER
                                                                                           9ER| UK
                                                                                                | UK			                              121
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