How to Interpret Hamilton 2.0
Hamilton 2.0 displays outputs from sources that we can directly attribute to the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian governments or their various news and information channels. These channels and accounts often engage with topics, hashtags, URLs, and people that are in no way affiliated with the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian government. It would therefore be INCORRECT to, without further analysis, label anyone or anything that appears on the dashboard as being connected to state-backed propaganda.
Note – The dashboard uses natural language processing and other machine learning and auto-translation tools to extract key information from the data. Although highly accurate, automated systems are imperfect. We urge all those reporting on the dashboard to confirm findings with ASD.
How often is the dashboard updated?
The dashboard is typically updated once per day in the early morning (ET), meaning that recent data may or may not be included in the dashboard’s data, though more frequent refreshes may occur during periods of high activity. Check the ”Last Refresh Date” on each dashboard page to determine when that page’s data was last refreshed. The default setting displays data from the previous seven days, but users can filter data by any date range by selecting ”Custom Dates”
What accounts are included?
The dashboard displays aggregate results from accounts connected to the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian government, diplomatic corps, and state-backed media. Accounts are filtered by country and category (diplomatic/government accounts and media accounts). Click here for the full account list.
What accounts, channels, and pages are included in each category?
The Hamilton 2.0 dashboard monitors roughly 1300 accounts, channels, and pages representing individuals or entities connected to the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian government or state-backed media. The dashboard collects data on accounts that primarily target foreign audiences, namely embassies, consulates, foreign ministries, ambassadors, key government figures, and international media outlets and their affiliated channels, programs, and key personnel. We identified these accounts using basic open-source research techniques, including but not limited to identifying accounts/pages/channels that have been labelled (or in the case of Twitter, had been labelled) as state-affiliated media or government officials. Most monitored accounts openly note their affiliation with the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian government or state-funded media (i.e., these accounts represent overt rather than covert influencers). We audit each list on a monthly basis to add relevant accounts and to remove those that are defunct or no longer meet the inclusion criteria. (For example, officials no longer in government or journalists no longer in the employ of state media). Exceptions are made if those individuals are determined to still be relevant to the messaging priorities of the state they were formerly affiliated with.
We divided Russian, Chinese, and Iranian accounts into two broad categories: diplomatic/government accounts and state-funded media accounts. A detailed description of each category is below:
Russian, Chinese, and Iranian diplomatic/government accounts
This category contains accounts of key individuals and institutions that represent the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian government, including:
- All known embassy, consular, ambassadorial, and consul general accounts followers or subscribers on any tracked platform)
- Official accounts representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as agencies and organizations that have an international or foreign policy focus (e.g., Russian Mission to NATO)
- Key individuals and organizations within the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian governments (e.g. the Kremlin or Ayatollah Khamenei)
Russian, Chinese, and Iranian state-funded media accounts
This category contains accounts representing Russia, China, and Iran’s various state-backed media outlets, including:
- Accounts connected to Russia, China, or Iran’s state-backed international broadcasters and online news and information portals
- Accounts connected to television programs on state-backed media outlets
- Accounts of key management personnel
- Accounts of influential reporters, journalists, and show hosts affiliated with state media outlets that a) Twitter previously labelled as state-affiliated media, b) that explicitly reference employment with a state-affiliated outlet/program, or c) that have more than 5,000 followers.
Note – The media account list does NOT include accounts connected to individual journalists, reporters, or television personalities who contribute to or are associated with Russian, Chinese, or Iranian state-funded media outlets but are not notable accounts (defined by less than 5,000 followers) or are not regularly featured in state media. Given the large number of tracked accounts, we may have missed or miscategorized a small number of accounts. If you believe there is an account we should be tracking or an account has been added in error, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Media Data (Telegram, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram) and Visualization Descriptions
This chart displays posts made by monitored accounts on a given platform that have received the most engagement or views over a specified time. Non-English posts are displayed in English using Microsoft’s Translator API. Engagement metrics are determined using the relevant platform’s API. Posts within the last three to seven days are updated during each refresh —older posts are updated on a rolling basis. For the most up-to-date numbers, check the platforms for by clicking the link symbol (🔗) in the table.
These charts display the information and statistics about monitored accounts that posted at least once during the specified time period. This information is useful in interpreting results on the rest of the dashboard. For example, the most active accounts will affect the top results (for example, key phrases and countries) more than accounts that post infrequently, regardless of the popularity of those accounts. Engagement and follower metrics are determined using each platform’s API and are updated during each refresh—older posts are updated on a rolling basis. For the most up-to-date account statistics, check the platforms by clicking the link symbol (🔗) in the table.
This chart displays accounts or channels (on the same platform) most frequently included in posts made by monitored accounts. These results include all mentions of a specific account.
WARNING: This data does not necessarily imply that the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian government is supporting or targeting a mentioned user.
Top Key Phrases
This chart displays the most-used phrases (including proper names, terms, etc.) that appear in posts made by monitored accounts during a specified time period. See below to learn how we extract key phrases from posts.
How are key phrases extracted from Posts?
We use Microsoft’s Cognitive Services to translate non-English posts and to extract key phrases. Non-relevant or non-specific key phrases (e.g., verbs, common nouns, etc.) are filtered out to remove noise from the results. We extract key phrases instead of key words to link together related words (e.g., “INF Treaty” or “Barack Obama”). It is possible, however, for two or more related nouns to appear as multiple entries in search results. For example, “Trump,” “Donald Trump,” and “President Trump” may appear as three unique phrases. Searching for a term in the “key phrases” section of the FILTERS sidebar will reveal similar key phrases.
This chart displays the hyperlinks most shared by monitored accounts in a specified time period.
WARNING: The dashboard does not screen links for malware, phishing content, spam, or any other undesired content. Click on the links at your own risk.
Using key phrase extraction, this chart displays the countries most mentioned in posts during a specified time period. In addition, special territories and regions (e.g., Hong Kong and the EU) are included as individual entities in the country data. The chart lists all mentions of a country, including alternative country names, under that country’s official name (e.g., mentions of US, USA, U.S., and America are all included in tabulations for the United States of America).
Note: Mentions of the State of Georgia will likely be mistaken for the country of Georgia. As with all key phrase extraction, other false positives are possible.
The dashboard displays aggregate results from English-language websites and news portals funded by the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian governments, and regional and different language versions of RT and Sputnik News. Currently, the Russia section of the dashboard collects data on English-language and regional versions of RT.com, Sputnik News, RBTH.com (Russian Beyond the Headlines), and TASS.com. Additionally, the dashboard collects data from websites that have been connected publicly to Russian intelligence, including Southfront, Newsfront, and the Strategic Culture Foundation. The China section of the dashboard collects data on CGTN.com, Xinhuanet.com, Globaltimes.cn, en.people.cn (People’s Daily), and Chinadaily.com.cn. The Iranian section collects data on PressTV.com, enfarsnews.ir (Fars News Agency), and en.irna.ir (Islamic Republic News Agency). Data is provided by our partners at Debunk.org, an initiative combating disinformation in Lithuania. Click here for more information about Debunk.
Articles from more than 20 Russian state-backed websites, five Chinese state-funded websites, and three Iranian state-funded websites are monitored on the dashboard. This means that the metrics provided on the dashboard SHOULD NOT be considered a full and complete summation of the state media environment from these countries. It is also important to stress that key phrases and countries not mentioned at the beginning of articles will not be captured by the dashboard. Thus, the results should be interpreted as an approximation of key messaging interests, rather than as a complete tally of all terms and phrases in collected articles.
Top articles by social media engagement
This chart displays the articles that have received the most engagement on Facebook over a specified time. Engagement numbers are from public pages only. Data is provided by Debunk.eu, and reflects accurate totals at the time the dashboard is updated each day, meaning that actual engagement numbers may vary depending on the time of day. Articles posted within the last three to seven days are updated during each refresh.
MFA Statements Data
The dashboard displays aggregate results from official English-language press releases and statements published by the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
Data is extracted from statement excerpts from the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian Ministries of Foreign Affairs. This means that the metrics provided on the dashboard SHOULD NOT be considered a full and complete summation. It is also important to stress that key phrases and countries not mentioned at the beginning of articles will not be captured by the dashboard. Thus, the results should be interpreted as an approximation of key messaging interests, rather than as a complete tally of all terms and phrases in collected statements.