For-profit

Pyrra Technologies

Website:

www.pyrratech.com/

Tax ID:

Py-rra

Formation:

2021

CEO:

Dr. Welton Chang

Type:

For-profit technology company

Pyrra Technologies is a “threat intelligence platform” that collects and analyzes comments on alternative social media platforms to detect misinformation. [1] Pyrra seems to investigate exclusively right-wing oriented extremism.

Pyrra has no office. Its employees work remotely from North America and Europe. [2]

Pyrra Technologies is explicitly committed to environment, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices. [3]

Pyrra is a contractor of the U.S. Department of Defense. [4]

Founding

Pyrra Technologies was founded in 2021 by former U.S. military intelligence officer Welton Chang, former U.S. Army Captain Eric Curwin, and former Airbus executive Rebecca Jones. [5] [6] [7] [8]

Pyrra was developed under the Innovation Lab at Human Rights First, a left-of-center group that supports liberal immigration laws, to “counter domestic extremism.” [9] Chang, the CEO of Pyrra, became a tech advisory board member and senior advisor at Human Rights First after the founding of Pyrra. [10] [11]

Activity

Pyrra Technologies uses “custom AI sweeps” to detect “dangerous content” including “extremist language, violent threats, and harmful disinformation.” As of November 2022, Pyrra monitors 20 “alternative social media platforms,” which are revealed to potential customers upon request, though 8kun, Gab, GETTR and Telegram have been cited in a news report. Pyrra’s fees range from $110 per month for individuals to $5,000 per year for businesses. [12] [13]

In November 2022, the New York Times cited data provided by Pyrra on the frequency of comments about conspiracy theories regarding the assault against Paul Pelosi, husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in October. [14]

In October, NBC News cited Pyrra regarding the supposed rise in “mule watchers,” individuals who elect to watch polling sites for so-called “mules” transporting allegedly illegal votes. [15]

In March, Pyrra released a report claiming that comments by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) opposing sentencing decisions by then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson had instigated a wave of conspiratorial online comments accusing Jackson of being linked to, or sympathetic with, pedophilia. [16]

In February, Pyrra released a report claiming that concerns of a protest of the Super Bowl in Los Angeles by the U.S.A. Trucker Convoy were overstated due to a lack of social media chatter. [17]

Also in February, Pyrra found an increase in social media discussion of a conspiracy theory that Russia had invaded Ukraine to destroy secret U.S.-sponsored bio-labs. [18]

References

  1. “Innovation Lab.” Human Rights First. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://humanrightsfirst.org/project/innovation-lab/. ^
  2. “Environment, Social, & Corporate Governance.” Pyrra. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.pyrratech.com/esg. ^
  3. “Environment, Social, & Corporate Governance.” Pyrra. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.pyrratech.com/esg. ^
  4. “Pyrra Tech Platform.” Sam.gov. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://sam.gov/opp/1bce54ecd121433bac6eb13d9857f0ff/view. ^
  5. “About Us.” Pyyra Technologies. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/human-rights-first/. ^
  6. “Welton Chang.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/welton-chang-a6312510/. ^
  7. “Rebecca Jones.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-jones-3129666/?originalSubdomain=ch. ^
  8. “Eric Curwin.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-curwin/. ^
  9. “To Counter Domestic Extremism, Human Rights First Launches Pyrra.” Human Rights Defenders. December 26, 2021. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/information-technology/. ^
  10. “About Us.” Pyyra Technologies. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/human-rights-first/. ^
  11. “Welton Chang.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/welton-chang-a6312510/. ^
  12. “Why Pyrra?” Pyrra Technologies. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.pyrratech.com/our-product. ^
  13. Sprunt, Barbara; Jingnan, Huo. “Hawley’s attacks on Ketanji Brown Jackson fuel a surge in online conspiracy chatter.” WAMU 88.5. March 24, 2022. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://wamu.org/story/22/03/24/hawleys-attacks-on-ketanji-brown-jackson-fuel-a-surge-in-online-conspiracy-chatter/. ^
  14. Karni, Annie; Khurana, Malika; Thompson, Stuart A. “How Republicans Fed a Misinformation Loop About the Pelosi Attack.” New York Times. November 5, 2022. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/11/05/us/politics/pelosi-attack-misinfo-republican-politicians.html. ^
  15. Hillyard, Vaughn; Colins, Ben. “How ‘mule watchers’ evolved from a Truth Social meme into a ballot drop box patrol.” NBC News. October 28, 2022. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/information-technology/. ^
  16. Sprunt, Barbara; Jingnan, Huo. “Hawley’s attacks on Ketanji Brown Jackson fuel a surge in online conspiracy chatter.” WAMU 88.5. March 24, 2022. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://wamu.org/story/22/03/24/hawleys-attacks-on-ketanji-brown-jackson-fuel-a-surge-in-online-conspiracy-chatter/. ^
  17. Kika, Thomas. “’Freedom Convoy’ Protest of Super Bowl Unlikely: ‘They Ran Out of Time’.” Newsweek. February 12, 2022. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/freedom-convoy-protest-super-bowl-unlikely-they-ran-out-time-1678743. ^
  18. “Pyrra Horizons.” Mail Chimp. February 2022. Accessed November 8, 2022. https://mailchi.mp/3d99b12b7949/pyrrahorizonsweekly. ^
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