DISARM Framework

What is the DISARM framework?

DISARM is the open-source, master framework for fighting disinformation through sharing data & analysis, and coordinating effective action. The Framework has been developed, drawing on global cybersecurity best practices.  It is used to help communicators, from whichever discipline or sector, to gain a clear shared understanding of disinformation incidents and to immediately identify defensive and mitigation actions available to them.

The framework was constructed based on both historical and hypothetical tactics and techniques employed by manipulators and responses employed by defenders. The aim was to provide as comprehensive a set of known and anticipated manipulator behaviors and defender actions as possible. It is descriptive, not prescriptive. We do not direct users on how to use it. That is up to the users themselves.

The set of defender actions in the framework was derived in 2019 by volunteers in a workshop.  It includes actions seen in countries with different ethical values (such as “censorship”, an action observed in countries with authoritarian governments). We will continue to make this “Blue” workshop output available as we develop an alternative based on democratic values and ethical principles, but we advise caution to anyone using it and have created a Companion Guide for those users. Of course, every user must consider for themselves what actions would be ethical, relevant, proportionate, and appropriate, given the unique legal, cultural, and normative context in which they are operating.

DISARM framework links:

The following links give more of a deep dive into the DISARM Framework.

Origins and Deployments to date

Work started on DISARM in 2017 and was launched in 2019, initially named AMITT, following a series of cross-disciplinary workshops under the MisinfoSec Working Group of the Credibility Coalition

Since then, the tangible impact of DISARM has been seen through its successful deployment across a number of global agencies and country teams. These include defending democracy, supporting pandemic communication and addressing other disinformation campaigns around the world, by institutions including the European Union, United Nations and NATO. DISARM users also include government teams, such as in the US and Canada, and a number of specific project teams

The framework has helped establish new institutions, including the Cognitive Security ISAO, the Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg and OpenFacto’s analysis programme, and has been used in the training of journalists in Kenya and Nigeria. To illustrate, with one other specific example, DISARM was employed within the World Health Organization’s operations, countering anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe. The use of framework methodology enabled the coordination of activities across teams and geographies, and also – critically – across multiple languages, eliminating the need to translate text by matching actions to numbered tactics, techniques and procedures within the framework.

The development of the DISARM Framework and the Foundation are currently being supported by non-profit Alliance4Europe.