Welcome to Thraets

We are a non-profit Civic Tech research lab dedicated to combating digital threats against truth, democracy, and social unity. Across the Global South, democratic processes are a toxic mix between deliberate disinformation, unintentional misinformation, social divisions, and rising polarization. With technological advancements, confronting these digital threats, such as deep fakes and cheap fakes, is becoming more challenging.

Our work addresses societal challenges related to democratic stability, human rights, and ethical technology development in developing nations. We investigate how emerging digital threats, such as synthetic media, surveillance tools, and coordinated or gendered disinformation campaigns, could undermine free and fair elections, amplify hate speech and ethnic tensions, and erode public trust in institutions. Through technical research, policy advocacy, and multi-stakeholder engagement, we aim to anticipate and mitigate these threats before they can be weaponized to destabilize nations.

We explore how technology can protect citizens and societies in the global south.

Mission

To defend truth, democracy, and social cohesion in the global south by countering digital threats through research, open-source solutions, and impactful policy recommendations.

Vision

A future where democratic processes, human rights, and ethical technology development are safeguarded from digital threats across the global majority.

Values

Free and open source software + Open content and open standards + Democratic, accountable and transparent governance + Local initiative and ownership + Social and gender equality Inclusiveness and diversity

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Mark Okello

Machine Learning Lead

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Mercy Owilla Abiro

Coordinator

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Richard Ngamita

Research Lead

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Samson Monyuak

Software Engineer

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Otim Richard Anyoya

Statistician

In collaboration

Mark Okello

Machine Learning Lead

Mark Okello is the Data Science and Machine Learning Lead at Thraets. Mark’s expertise in state-of-the-art machine learning helps identify deep fakes, cheap fakes, and other AI-generated media deployed for nefarious purposes. He holds a pivotal position in identifying synthetic and manipulated media techniques used for spreading disinformation, particularly across countries in the global south.

Mark is a graduate student researcher at Duke University, where he specializes in automated natural language processing (NLP) techniques. Previously, Mark worked as a Healthcare Data Scientist at Benshi AI, focusing on data analytics, survival modeling, and user segmentation based on behavioral mobile app logs.

Mercy Owilla Abiro

Coordinator

Mercy Owillo is the Programs Coordinator at Thraets. She works on steering our operations and partnerships with over five years of experience in the CSO sector, specializing in program coordination across digital and media platforms.  She has previously held pivotal roles at the African Institute for Investigative Journalism (AIIJ) and Whitehead Communications Consult.

Mercy’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and equality, coupled with her passion for journalism, feminism, IT, and community empowerment, makes her a valuable asset in combating misinformation and promoting a just, inclusive world.

Richard Ngamita

 Research Lead

Richard Ngamita is the Team Leader at Thraets. He also leads research work at Thraets with a focus on digital security, influence operations and open-source intelligence. For over 10 years, Richard has been studying the internet, how people behave online, and the ways that bad actors think and misuse digital technologies.
Richard has led technical research under threat intelligence teams at major tech companies like X(Formerly Twitter), Facebook (Meta), and Google. Currently, Richard is an advisory board member for the “Digital Democracy Initiative”, a collaboration between Global South civil society, the European Union, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Joachim Gwoke

Tech Lead

Joachim Gwoke is the Tech Lead and works on anything open source at Thraets. He is a dedicated free open source software researcher and activist who specializes in integrating diverse free open source tools and data sources to enhance governance, social research, and digital platforms through open collaboration.

 
Joachim has engineered solutions for organizations like AFLI in Uganda, conducted parliamentary audits and policy analysis using FOSS principles. He continues to champion remote GIS for grassroots initiatives and empowering local communities with open-source data and tools.

Samson Monyuak

Software Engineer

Samson is our creative software engineer working on gamification and the Community Fakes tool we’re building. He’s got solid experience under his belt, having worked on software and design at Loft, digital health solutions at MedX, and contributing to Gitstart’s platform for businesses.

But what really drives Samson is his passion for indie maker projects that solve niche, overlooked problems in unique ways. He loves the creative freedom to explore new ideas and build products for underserved communities.

On a personal note, Samson has a deep connection with the number 5 and its symbolism of freedom, curiosity, and change. It resonates with his desire to constantly adapt, embrace new experiences, and fuel his innovative spirit for personal growth.

He’s the perfect fit for our team, combining technical chops with an indie mindset to craft creative solutions that address real needs.