While a significant amount of research has shed light on how inauthentic news and misinformation spreads on social media platforms like Twitter, inauthentic narratives are increasingly spread on alternative platforms, messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp, niche forums, and on the broader web. In this talk, I will discuss how technologists can provide visibility into the spread of information on the broader Internet. I will present some of the recent work that my research group at Stanford University has been doing on using large language models to track news narratives online, patterns we see in where news narratives are originating, particularly those about the Russo-Ukrainian War, and opportunities where computer scientists can partner with and enable other researchers and civil society organizations.
Zakir Durumeric is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and Chief Scientist at Censys. His research brings a large-scale, empirical approach to the study of security, abuse, and misinformation on the Internet. In particular, he is interested in building systems to measure complex networked ecosystems and using the resulting perspective to understand online behavior, uncover weaknesses, architect more resilient approaches, and guide policy decisions. His research has been recognized with a Sloan Research Fellowship, USENIX Security "Test of Time" award, multiple IETF Applied Networking Research Prizes, Google Faculty Awards, and Best Paper distinctions from USENIX Security, CCS, and IMC. In 2015, he was named one of MIT Technology Review’s "35 Innovators Under 35" for his work on fast Internet scanning. He received his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2017, and BS in Computer and Mathematics from the University of Iowa in 2011.