On September 25, 2019, the National Institute for Strategic Studies held a meeting with representatives of the Transatlantic Commission on Electoral Integrity, a project that is part of the Alliance of Democracy Foundation, project to Prevent Foreign Elections in 2019.
The meeting was attended by: NISD Deputy Director Gelena Savruk, Head of Political System Development Department Iryna Pavlenko, Head of Ethnic Studies, Reintegration Depeartment Yulia Tyshchenko, Deputy Head of Political Development Alexander Danylyak, Deputy Head of the Ethnonational Research, Reintegration and Development Division of Civil Society, Julia Kaplan and Valentina Piontkovska.
At the meeting, a representative of the Alliance of Democracies and project coordinator Harry Nedelko and project analyst Gareth Hem presented the study "Monitoring of Foreign Interference in Ukrainian Elections".
Describing the research methodology, Gareth Ham noted that the analysis of public conversations on the Internet and social networks that match keywords or keyword combinations was done through identification and fixation using a social observation tool. The study analyzed large databases in different languages and identified ways of dissemination of misinformation through social networks (including purposefully organized groups or so-called "bridge people" between different user clusters).
The study classified websites and social networks into three hierarchical categories:
- Fully open sites - news, blogs and forums, Twitter.
- Open to the user but not "processed" by software - for example, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Private non-accessible resources from private pages on Facebook, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram chat, Discord, etc.
For each subject in the network, content was analyzed for Ukrainian subjects to determine the subject's location in the social interconnection system to identify a coordinated bot network.
Gelena Savruk and other staff of the Institute expressed their gratitude for the presented results of the research and offered to continue cooperation. Both sides expressed interest in the development of concrete proposals to prevent election interference and misinformation spreading as an important component of ensuring the security of the electoral process in Ukraine.