College of Computing and Digital Media Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 5-26-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Computing

First Advisor

Filipo Sharevski, PhD

Second Advisor

Janine Spears, PhD

Third Advisor

Jacob Furst, PhD


As misinformation continues to spread on social media, its residents have begun to fight back, independent of any platform. This organic resistance to the diffusion of misinformation is a clearly observable phenomenon with roots in Anonymous’ distributed campaigns from the 2010s outwards. Hacker and information security communities are acting in defense of some of their favorite spaces, most notably, Twitter. Security researchers of all stripes use it for sharing indicators of compromise but, as the diffusion of misinformation becomes more problematic it becomes more difficult to find signals in the noise.

These actors’ response to the issues at hand is polarizing, some convinced that political (counter) argumentation is a perpetual nuisance while others passionately attack the roots of misinformation, wherever they perceive it. In this study, researchers interview twenty-three cyberspace actors, highly active on Twitter & Discord, to better understand their mental models of misinformation, how they conceptualize counter operations and their thoughts on the efficacy of the tactics, tools and procedures involved therein.



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