The Design 4 Democracy Coalition is a growing group of democracy and human rights organizations around the world that is committed to ensuring that the technology industry embraces democracy as a core design principle. Coming from a diverse collection of regions, political ideologies and backgrounds, the Coalition is united in a shared commitment that technology platforms and products should help build a more just and democratic world. The public square is increasingly digital. More than ever, political views and identities are formed online. By developing a forum for coordination and support within the democracy community on technology issues, and by creating an institutional channel for communication between the democracy community and the tech industry, the Design 4 Democracy Coalition is working to strengthen democracy in the digital age.

News and Events

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Russia's Computational Propaganda Operations in Africa

Researchers at the Stanford Global Internet Observatory found disinformation and computational propaganda networks run by Russian organizations with connections to the government in various countries across central and eastern Africa. The report has led to the deactivation of Facebook accounts and groups related to three Russian based networks that were active in Mozambique, Cameroon, Sudan and Libya, while others operated in Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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NDI Continues Accountable Algorithm Work in Kenya

In partnership with Article 19 and Meedan, NDI is examining how marginalized communities in Kenya are impacted in online spaces and how disinformation and hate speech spreads. Final results from this participatory research are expected in early 2020. Through this project, the Coalition has grown to include many great Kenyan organizations that joined D4D to lend their expertise. In the next Download, we will introduce you to all of our new Members.

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D4D Coalition Hires Community Manager

With funding from the The National Democratic Institute (NDI), a founding member of the D4D Coalition, has hired a Community Manager, Kristi Arbogast, to help manage the growing Coalition, lead new member recruitment, and expand member engagement. Kristi previously worked at NDI, where she assisted with building out the D4D Coalition and helped manage the Open Internet for Democracy Initiative. Prior to NDI, Kristi worked at Open Gov Hub, a collaborative community of 40+ organizations working to put accountability, transparency, and participation at the heart of democracy. If you have any questions or ideas about the D4D Coalition, our community, or ways to get further involved, contact Kristi at [email protected]

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WhatsApp Sues Israeli Surveillance Firm For Hacking Users

WhatsApp took legal action against NSO Group, an Israeli cybersurveillance firm, for using the app in an espionage campaign that targeted journalists and human rights activists. The lawsuit alleges that the firm used WhatsApp to hack the phones of at least 1,400 targets in 20 countries, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Mexico. WhatsApp discovered the attack on users while working in conjunction with Citizen Lab, based at the University of Toronto in Canada. The research group investigated NSO Group’s role in creating technology that has been used in hacking attempts worldwide.

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Social Science Research Council Launches Platform Countering Disinformation

The New York-based international NGO, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) launched MediaWell, a platform that aggregates the latest research on disinformation, online politics, election interference, and other collisions between media and democracy. The public platform also summarizes research findings and identifies gaps in scholarship, and would be useful for both practitioners, researchers, journalists and others who are looking for resources to work on these issues.