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Disinformation creep: ADOS and the strategic weaponization of breaking news

Mutale Nkonde, Leonard Cortana, Momin Malik, and colleagues published a paper in Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review.

“In this essay, we conduct a descriptive content analysis from a sample of a dataset made up of 534 thousand scraped tweets, supplemented with access to 1.36 million tweets from the Twitter firehose, from accounts that used the #ADOS hashtag between November 2019 and September 2020. ADOS is an acronym for American Descendants of Slavery, a largely online group that operates within Black online communities. We find that the ADOS network strategically uses breaking news events to discourage Black voters from voting for the Democratic party, a phenomenon we call disinformation creep. Conversely, the ADOS network has remained largely silent about the impact of the novel coronavirus on Black communities, undermining its claims that it works in the interests of Black Americans.”

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