available languages: english March 2, 2021

Position Title: Social Media Visual Forensics Expert (m/f/d)
Form of Employment: Home-based Consultant
Starting Date: March 2021
Duration: 6-10 working days (mid-March through April 2021)
Location: Remote Deskwork

Background

For the past four years, Democracy Reporting International (DRI) has been producing real time evidence and studies on how social media platforms and digital communication are impacting public discourse, and with it, political and voting behavior around elections.

Through this work, DRI has identified that non-text media, particularly generated by AI, is a growing disinformation threat. Video manipulation tools are increasingly cheaper and easier to access, and video-based platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram are on the rise.

Civil society and electoral stakeholders must be better prepared to analyze manipulated non-text media content to meet the emerging threat. Unlike image and video, text media is easier to monitor at scale as it requires reading without consideration for visual details. Observers already capable of monitoring text-based disinformation require a special set of skills to tackle image and video-based threats.

With this in mind, DRI plans to develop a guide for electoral social media monitoring organisations, for developing the understanding of manipulated media as a disinformation threat. The guide will inform a workshop module that DRI plans to develop on the topic, for direct capacity development with relevant social media monitoring organisations. The guide and workshop will include best practices, tools, and resources for working with image/video media.

Objective and Role

The project therefore requires the services of a consultant to help DRI’s Digital Democracy team structure a guide and workshop module.

Tasks:

The consultant will work directly with the DRI HQ Digital Democracy team. The consultant will perform the following tasks:

  • Drawing on your OSINT knowledge, conduct desk research on current uses, actors and techniques of manipulated media and threats, as well as tools and best practices on detecting these from industry, academia, civil society and other relevant groups, including electoral stakeholders. This may include interviews or surveys.
  • Based on research and discussions with the Digital Democracy team, design and draft a guide for social media monitors (particularly for CSOs working in election monitoring) with resources and best practices on incorporating images and video into social media monitoring.
  • Provide recommendations for developing a workshop module, based on the final guide and DRI’s existing training toolkit.
  • Attend calls and video meetings as required and maintain effective communication with the DRI Digital Democracy team.
  • Provide deliverables/outputs according to an agreed upon timeline.

 

Deliverables/Outputs:

  1. Research summary
  2. Final guide
  3. Recommendations for drafting a corresponding workshop module
  4. Final feedback on guide and workshop module

Qualifications:

  • A degree in political science, communication and media, international relations, journalism or related field.
  • Experience working on tech policy or video and imagery tools is required, particularly experience working on open-source intelligence (OSINT), topics related to social media research, and disinformation.
  • Experience working on election observation or monitoring would be considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated strong writing and research skills.
  • Fluency in English is required, additional languages will be considered an asset. German is not required.

How to Apply:
If you are interested in this position, please send your application (cover letter and CV) to [email protected]. Please include “Social Media Visual Forensics Expert in the subject line and refer to the source where you have found this opportunity. This position is subject to funding. Applying for this position by post mail is possible, please find our address details below.

Closing date for applications: 14th March 2021. The position may be filled before the deadline has been reached, so early applications are encouraged.

DRI is committed to diversity and does not discriminate in employment based upon gender (including pregnancy), race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability, socio-economic status, or any other status protected by the laws in the locations where we operate.