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Hamilton 68: A New Tool to Track Russian Disinformation on Twitter


The relentlessly bipartisan and trans-Atlantic Alliance for Securing Democracy has a new dashboard out called “Hamilton 86.” It is meant specifically to target Russian weaponized narrative – especially attacks on elections not only in the U.S., but in Germany, Italy and elsewhere. They say: “We identified these accounts through three different methods. First, we tracked disinformation campaigns that synchronized with overt Russian propaganda outlets like Sputnik and RT (Russia Today). We analyzed the social networks of users who were promoting this disinformation to identify which users were centrally involved, and to remove users who tweeted disinformation casually, after encountering it online. “Second, we identified a group of users online that openly professed to be pro-Russian and tweeted primarily in support of Russian government policies and themes. We analyzed followers of these accounts to identify a large and interconnected social network that tweeted the same themes and content. “Third, we identified accounts that appear to use automation to boost the signal of other accounts linked to Russian influence operations. We assessed this group by looking at accounts that had disproportionately large numbers of interactions with other accounts (including sending and receiving retweets) along with a very high number of tweets per day. These accounts may be bots, meaning a piece of computer code that tweets automatically based on pre-determined rules, or they may be cyborgs, meaning that some of their activity is automated, which is then manually supplemented by a human user.” The Alliance is funded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and has an “advisory council” that is a who’s who of the U.S. intelligence/military leadership under both Republican and Democratic past presidents. JG

Why is this important?

Hamilton 68 provides a near real-time platform for tracking Russian propaganda and disinformation operations online, illustrating the importance of developing concrete tools in the social media environment to counter weaponized narrative.


Laura Rosenberger
J.M. Berger

Publication Date

August 2, 2017