In November 2018, Arizona State University’s (ASU) McCain Institute for International Leadership jointly with Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) started implementation of a project – “Tracking and Refuting Disinformation in Georgia” – funded by the US Department of State.
The aim of the project is to counter efforts by foreign entities to use disinformation and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and its partner nations. Hence, the project specifically aims at identifying, analyzing and refuting Russian disinformation in Georgia.
Within the project, EPRC plans to analyze and curate relevant data, and fact-check stories suspected to be false. It is planned to monitor sizes and geographic heat-maps of all social-media active groups of interest, as well as to identify influential/central online leaders and organizers of groups, particularly those behind the spread of disinformation. It is also planned to track networks of groups’ followers and their popular messages and visual media. Monitoring of most cited news and events on a timeline alongside their effects will also be conducted.
The McCain Institute plans to create a platform in Washington, D.C. to educate policymakers, think tank experts and non-profit leaders on the challenges Georgia faces due to Russian disinformation.