On January 26, Mónika, participated as a speaker at the Oxford Research forum on ” The Implications of the Russian War in Ukraine for Global Information, Communication, and Cybersecurity“, which was organised and hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and The Portulans Institute. During this research forum a diverse group of 16 early career scholars, representing 8 countries and 12 universities have presented their research on various facets of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The participants have presented valuable insights on a number of important topics surrounding Russia’s war in Ukraine including Propaganda, Narratives, and Diplomacy, Public Reception and Resistance, Innovative Approaches to Cybersecurity and Surveillance, Shaping Social Networking, and Regulating Propaganda, Security, and Information.

Mónika’s presentation was dedicated to her study on cross-platform discursive information flows surrounding the early stages of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which she coauthored with Savvas Zannettou, and Anne, Kasper and Damian. In this study we employed a combination of state-of-the-art computational methods on multi-platform data to assess the influence of dark platforms in the contemporary media system in the context of discourse surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a nutshell, findings of this study indicated that the influence of dark platforms is negligible compared to legacy media, and mainstream social media. Moreover, the most influential topics that managed to transcend the boundaries of the dark platform agenda and influence the rest of the studied agendas did not appear harmful at a glance. Upon closer examination, however, we detected a substantial harmful language rate in the texts that made up the most influential topics on the dark platform agenda. Notably, these posts exhibited a significantly higher levels of toxicity-related language compared to texts on other studied agendas. A preprint of this study is available via https://osf.io/qamf7 and will be featured in Mónika’s Dissertation.

We are grateful for the invitation to attend this forum and we look forward to continuing the conversation with the OII and the many talented young scholars who attended this important event. Special thanks to Elizaveta (Lisa) Chernenko (OII) who spearheaded the organisation of the research forum.