WHAT WE DO

Our Vision 

The University of Ottawa Information Integrity Lab will convene Canadian and international experts, frontline practitioners, academic researchers and analysts from various fields to collaborate on a wide array of initiatives that contribute to the protection of the integrity of the information ecosystem, in support of democratic institutions, enterprises, and private citizens.

Our work will serve to enhance public trust and adhere to the highest legal and ethical standards, respecting applicable privacy laws and guarantees of free speech.

 

Our Mission

The Information Integrity Lab contributes to a deeper understanding of disinformation and seeks to develop tools and measures that serve to counter the growing phenomenon of information distortion for nefarious purposes by:

  • offering courses and events adapted to various audiences to enhance knowledge around sources, methods, and practices of disinformation activities;
  • assisting organizations in running disinformation vulnerability assessments and developing resiliency plans;
  • performing open-source data analytics to identify trends and tactics, and reporting findings of such analyses;
  • engaging with researchers from various disciplines who can contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of disinformation practices and consequences;
  • working with technical experts and applied researchers to identify state-of-the-art technologies effective in the detection and countering of disinformation;
  • publishing regular reports and assessments useful for decision makers, educators, public and private sector professionals, media, and the general public.

 

Legal and Ethical Framework 

Better understanding mis- and disinformation begins by looking at where it is created and how it is disseminated. Working in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary network of academics and expert practitioners, the uOttawa Information Integrity Lab analyzes a variety of open sources of mis- and disinformation to better understand the phenomenon.

Our method relies on publicly-available data, gathered mostly from social media platforms and mainstream media, which is then subjected to scientific inquiry by researchers with whom we collaborate and analysts from various specialty areas. Findings from those analyses are peer-reviewed before conclusions are shared with stakeholders.

The Information Integrity Lab performs these analyses in full transparency, respecting Canadian privacy laws and guarantees of freedom of expression. Our work is done exclusively on publicly available information and data. The Information Integrity Lab subscribes to the Government of Canada’s “Ethical and methodological framework for Open Source Data Monitoring and Analysis” for all its activities related to the study of mis- and disinformation.

 

"Knowledge, facts and truth are being challenged, and challenged very aggressively. Disinformation and fake news are being used not only by individuals and organizations, but also by state actors to destabilize entire societies, to severely erode public confidence in private and public sector organizations and to attack our core beliefs in freedom, equality, the rule of law and human rights. Our core mandate at the University of Ottawa is about research, critical thinking and the advancement and circulation of knowledge and facts. The University of Ottawa has a convening power that allows to bring together the best minds from around the world. We are in a country welcomed and recognized internationally for its “soft power,” thus boosting our own convening power. For all these reasons, it makes total sense that the Laboratory for the Integrity of Information is housed at the University of Ottawa, Canada."

— Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa

 

THE EXPERTS

IIL International Network

 

 

COURSES, SERVICES AND EVENTS

Courses

Busy professionals keep their edge by regularly upgrading their knowledge, keeping up with the latest in best practices and adding new skills.
Visit our website regularly as our course offerings are updated regularly.

 

Understanding Open-Source Intelligence

 

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Intelligence Analysis and Contemporary Security

 

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The Intelligence Process and Cycle

 

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Mis/Disinformation Mitigation and Critical Thinking

 

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Intelligence Products and Presentation

 

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Services

We offer a wide range of services to help organizations counter the growing phenomenon of information distortion.

 

Disinformation Risk Management Framework

The University of Ottawa’s Information Integrity Lab (uOttawa IIL) uses an evidence-based approach to support organizations in the application of a tailored Disinformation Risk Management Framework. This methodology serves to better information risk-based decisions. Our approach is founded on best practices, internationally-recognized standards, and industry-hardened data analysis methods; it includes:

  • Contextual Needs and Requirements
  • Relevant and Applicable Data Dictionaries
  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Structured Risk Analysis

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Open Source Data Analysis

Social media networks are the preferred vectors of dissemination of mis- and disinformation. The uOttawa Information Integrity Lab works with researchers, analysts, and various partner organizations to better understand the sources and methods through which mis- and disinformation spread on social media.

The digital information landscape is rapidly evolving. The Information Integrity Lab will report regularly on its findings to update decision-makers, policy developers, and the general public on the phenomenon of mass mis- and disinformation. Our goal is to complement this by proposing approaches to guard against the damaging effects of the deterioration of the integrity of our information ecosystem. In collaboration with our partners, the Information Integrity Lab also offers open-source data analysis services to both private and public sector organizations.

 

 

Events

 

 

Past Event

Disinformation: Challenges and Dangers to Democracy

In partnership with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Canada

Canada’s resilience to disinformation has been tested these past years with concerted campaigns from foreign adversaries and a thriving domestic disinformation ecosystem – not to mention the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These dynamics were fully on display with the contentious February Freedom Convoy protests against vaccine mandates in Ottawa and other major Canadian cities. Speakers discussed the challenges and dangers to Canadian democracy posed by disinformation.

 

Past Event

Disinformation and its Impact on Democratic Processes

An in-person event on “Disinformation and its impact on democratic processes” was held on April 26, 2022 from 16:30 to 18:00 CEST. The event took place at the International IDEA’s Headquarters located at Strömsborg 1 in Stockholm (by invitation only) and was live-streamed and recorded.

 

Resource Centre

Our Partners
Brief descriptions and links to detailed information.

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Understanding Disinformation
Defining disinformation, misinformation, and other related terms.

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Initiatives, Centres, Institutes
National and international initiatives.

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Disinformation Policy
Legal and non-legislative courses of action taken in dealing with disinformation.

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Books on Misinformation
Hard cover and digital books published on disinformation, propaganda, and fake news.

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Events
Upcoming virtual, in-house or blended format events critically exploring disinformation and related issues.

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Training, Advocacy and Codes of Practice
The importance of establishing and following codes of practice, and the role advocacy.

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Reports
Prominent governmental and non-governmental reports on public policy, digital communication and law.

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Guides
Resources to help understand and identify various aspects of disinformation.

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Articles of Interest
Articles on misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and fake news.

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Case Studies
Articles examining disinformation and its consequences in different contexts.

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Technical Aspects
Articles on the numerous technical dimensions that both foster and challenge disinformation practices.

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Videos

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Want to learn more about the Information Integrity Lab?

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