Winner of the US-Paris Tech Challenge for innovative approaches to counter disinformation sponsored by the US State Department, the UK Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and NATO.
are under attack
A tradecraft has emerged
in illicit, often hidden ways to use the Internet to wield influence.
Frequently described as ‘disinformation’, it covers a much wider series of techniques: hidden forms of coordination, automation, spoofed identities, activation of outrage, strategic hate and threats, the manipulation of search engine results, gaming social reputation systems and many more.
Our world is being shaped
by both ideological and profit-seeking actors willing to use these techniques. This includes political extremists and conspiracy theorists, autocratic states, hate groups, political campaigns and cyber-criminals.
Beam is a multi-lingual, multi-platform capability developed to expose, track and confront information threats online.
We identify the most relevant and powerful analytical opportunities emerging from the world of machine learning and data science and connect them – via Beam – with the social and behavioural scientists, linguists and thematic experts who research information threats.
is not just a
but also a series of values for how technology should be used to buttress the very democratic and civic institutions that it is deployed to protect.
Works across as many different data sources and languages as possible.
Is connected to the under-served languages, issues, communities and regions that are constantly targeted by illicit influence operations.
Is independent of any online service provider.
Avoids black box technologies. It is as transparent as possible to enable peer review, share best practices and avoid magical algorithms and hidden techniques.
Is never in a settled state, and reacts to the constantly emerging stream of new capabilities from the world of machine learning and natural language processing.
Works across a range of themes and issues, from climate summits to elections, the protection of activists and in the world of geopolitics.
Powers responses beyond platform takedowns or journalistic exposé, informing everyone from activists to policy-makers, and the responses of strategic communications, diplomatic, political, legal and economic actors.
We have deployed Beam in 10 countries, across 8 languages, powering over 350 civic society and public sector institutions to respond to the information threats that matter to them.
Each deployment combines the broad and continuous monitoring of at-risk online spaces with the capacity for deeper investigation of specific illicit campaigns.
A fundamental part of Beam is to make it available to the organisations and coalitions that need it to powerfully respond to information threats.
There are three layers of interaction that organisations have:
The lightest form of engagement, organisations receive outputs, notifications, alerts, snapshots, flash reports or deeper investigative analyses about the information threats and actors relevant to them.
A deeper form of engagement, organisations are onboarded onto bespoke vis-analytic dashboards fed by Beam. They are able to control what data is being collected and how that data is classified.
The deepest level of engagement. Organisations are onboarded onto the underlying analytical architectures of Beam itself. The system is designed to be the opposite of a black box.