Google’s Jigsaw unit sponsors a RAND report that recommends infiltrating and subverting online conspiracy groups from within while planting authoritative messaging wherever possible.
With a focus on online chatter relating to alien visitations, COVID-19 origins, white genocide, and anti-vaccination, the Google-sponsored RAND report published last week shows how machine learning can help detect and understand the language used by “conspiracy theorists.”
While the 108-page report can be highly technical in describing machine learning approaches for identifying and making sense of conspiracy language online, here we’re not going to focus on any of that.
Instead, we will zoom-in on the report’s “Policy Recommendations for Mitigating the Spread of and Harm from Conspiracy Theories” section and attempt to see how they might be received in the real world.
“Conspiracists have their own experts on whom they lean to support and strengthen their views […] One alternative approach could be to direct outreach toward moderate members of those groups who could, in turn, exert influence on the broader community” — RAND report