Election Disinformation in Australia
CASM and ISD deployed Beam in the context of the Australian election for the purposes of
training data journalists and analysts using it to detect election disinformation.
This involved compiling a list of political candidates, parties and other relevant political
actors (e.g. Free movement groups), and live collecting data into structured formats that
make it easily comparable across platforms.
Data were then presented to journalists into custom designed Beam-powered dashboard,
produced in direct collaboration with data journalists and analysts to capture key themes
and narratives of interest. These users were able to help guide the underlying analysis by
constructing filters and narrative categories on the basis of keywords or natural language
Throughout the election campaign, twice a week ISD and CASM ran dashboard trainings and
clinics about how to interpret findings. Clinics were also used to identify promising leads
emerging from the dashboard, and to design more in-depth follow-up investigations. Beyond
the daily actor-based monitoring, Beam was then used by ISD and CASM’s analysts to
support these investigations, collecting and analysing new data multiple times a week.
As mentioned, ISD and CASM had previously used Beam to support and train the climate
sector in how to understand and analyse disinformation relating to climate change, including
in Australia. The use of dashboards to make Beam available to end users, like journalists and
CSOs, enables monitoring of key actors and narratives threats across social media on a daily
basis, including on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and Telegram. is able to
support key stakeholders in their own advocacy, public education, policy-making and
strategic communications work.