Developing Aotearoa New Zealand’s ability to analyse, identify, and understand disinformation online is the aim of research commissioned as part of the Government’s programme to strengthen resilience to disinformation.
Surveys have consistently shown more than 80% of New Zealanders are concerned about the impacts of disinformation. We need to understand the extent of disinformation to effectively counter it and build societal resilience to its harms.
Two suppliers will produce a set of public reports that research, analyse, and provide insights into disinformation in New Zealand’s online environment, using only publicly available data.
These reports will help New Zealanders better understand the challenges of disinformation, develop New Zealand’s ability to identify and address disinformation online and support further research and work in this area.
The suppliers carrying out the year-long research programme are:
- The University of Auckland’s ‘Hate and Extremism Insights Aotearoa’ (HEIA) team, who will deliver data-led research to understand themes and trends in disinformation in New Zealand.
- UK-based Logically, who will research and analyse emerging disinformation threats impacting New Zealand.
The suppliers were selected by an independent evaluation panel following an open request for proposals earlier this year.
The reports focus only on high-level trends, with all data anonymised to protect individuals’ privacy. They are available on the suppliers’ websites, and linked to below:
- Disinformation Trends in New Zealand: A HEIA Snapshot Report, October 2023
- Misinformation and disinformation narratives in the 2023 New Zealand General Election, 27 September - 11 October, 2023
- Misinformation and disinformation narratives in the 2023 New Zealand General Election, 11 - 25 October, 2023
Ahead of undertaking this work, DPMC carried out extensive reviews and legal assessments to ensure it complies with public sector standards, best practice, and the Privacy Act 2020:
- Only publicly available data will be collected. No data from private messages will be collected.
- All collected data will be anonymised so that individuals cannot be identified, and reports will focus on high-level trends.
- Under no circumstances shall the supplier send or disclose raw data to DPMC, including any containing personal information.
- Both suppliers were required to undertake privacy impact assessments and must comply with the relevant public sector codes and standards.
This is part of the "whole-of-society" approach to strengthen national capacity to identify and address disinformation. Find more information about the other initiatives here.