Netwar System is an Open Source project that provides the ability to collect large amounts of social media data from platforms like Twitter. Using Elasticsearch and Kibana we have been able to visualize all sorts of data, leading to discoveries of disinformation campaigns, botnets, and other types of artificial behavior.
Our first paying client is Scientists for the European Union and we get occasional contract work from other NGOs, but we have done public interest work on white nationalists with the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, disinformation and election-related stories with National Observer, and provided advice and research to The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, McClatchy, Bloomberg, and other media outlets.
Our first client provided us with potent systems to handle data and we're good there for the moment. Where we need help is getting some additional storage space so the pro bono work isn't crowding our other activities.
We buy enterprise-grade drives, two at a time. They go into our systems in mirrored pairs. The two servers we have are also 100% mirrors of each other. This doubly redundant configuration means we seldom have any downtime, but it's not cheap. Our smaller system has four two terabyte drives in it that are nearly full. Here are our upgrade options:
Pair of 4TB Seagate IronWolf drives $200
Pair of 8TB Seagate Exos drives $378
Pair of 12TB Seagate Exos drives $618
Even small donations are a big help. We recently installed a pair of Seagate Nytro cache drives that were $83 each. Two Western Digital one terabyte drives for one of our development systems were $68 each. If we hit the $200 mark that will take the heat off. If we get the full amount we'll upgrade both of our systems to twelve terabyte drives, and the retired drives will go into our development systems.