Impact on mis- and disinformation

Mis- and disinformation are typically addressed through reactive measures against specific attacks or proactive prevention efforts. While these approaches are necessary and valuable, they are inherently endless and fail to address the root of the problem. Exploiting vulnerabilities for political gains will always attract malign actors, outnumbering those interested in prevention.

The issue of disinformation arises from vulnerabilities in the tools that mediate the information environment. These vulnerabilities persist because fixing them conflicts with the economic incentives of large platforms. Therefore, it is crucial to increase the costs associated with leaving these vulnerabilities open and provide incentives for their resolution. Alternatively, obligations should be imposed on actors to compel them to address these vulnerabilities.

Open Terms Archive enables this by equipping actors who are already engaged in addressing these vulnerabilities. It amplifies their capabilities and facilitates connections for mutual reinforcement, ultimately enabling more effective action.


  • In the second quarter of 2022, Open Terms Archive was used during the French presidential elections by to update disinformation researchers within 48 hours of any change in the terms and guidelines related to the topic in the 5 largest social media platforms used in France. We could for example inform them ahead of time of the removal of the YouTube Trusted Flagger program, which enabled individuals to flag harmful content.

Open Terms Archive publicly records the terms of services of online services in different languages and countries several times a day, increasing their readability and highlighting their changes. It is designed as a tool to steer platform governance towards increased accountability, improved legislation and stronger regulatory compliance. Read more on our impact model.