Amyoli Internet Research Lab

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Download AIR lab URL Extractor?

AIR lab URL Extractor is a mobile application that parses through exported text files from WhatsApp chats. The purpose of this research project is to develop defensive measures against misinformation in private end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. AIR lab URL Extractor extracts URLs and other metadata information including:

  • The start and end dates of the chat
  • The number of users in the chat
  • The number of messages from each user in a chat overall
  • The number of messages from each user per day
  • The number of URLS, images, and text chats from each user
  • The URLS in each chat
What Are The Benefits of Using AIR lab URL Extractor?

AIR lab URL Extractor lets the user know what URLs were sent or received in any WhatsApp chat and allows them to send their data via email to anyone they choose. By taking part in this research study, participants will also learn more about the potential issues revolving around false or misleading information in WhatsApp.

How Does AIR lab URL Extractor Work?

Depending on the device, the user either exports their WhatsApp chat and shares it directly to AIR lab URL Extractor or imports their exported WhatsApp chat file into the app. AIR lab URL Extractor app analyzes the file and extracts messages that are URLs. It also parses through the chat file to collect the other metadata information mentioned above. After going through the chat file, the app displays the URLs that were extracted from the chat, and the user can choose which ones to send to us. After the user views and edits which URLs will be included in the data, they can then send their data to the research team in the app via email.

Data Privacy
What Information Does AIR lab URL Extractor Store?

AIR lab URL Extractor stores the data (URLs and chat metadata) in the phone’s async storage; however, the user can delete the chat data in the AIR lab URL Extractor app too. AIR lab URL Extractor does not collect any personally identifiable information from the user.

Why Should I Trust AIR lab URL Extractor with My Data?
  • We are open source. The code is viewable here (github link). Edits can be suggested through pull requests, allowing for anyone to examine the code and contribute to the project.
  • This project was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of University of Chicago. This protects the rights and welfare of humans participating in research, including those who are using AIR lab URL Extractor and allow for the collection of their data.
  • We will not share the data with anyone beyond our team. Our team is strictly interested in the research opportunities that the data will provide. We will not share your data for commercial purposes.
How Can I Check What Information AIR lab URL Extractor Has Stored About Me?

You can view the chat information you are sending in the Home page of the AIR lab URL Extractor app. The Home page displays all the chat files shared in an accordion view. You can also view the text file that the AIR lab URL Extractor creates from your chats prior to sending to any other recipient.

Why Does AIR lab URL Extractor Collect User Data?

There is no publicly available data about a user’s WhatsApp chats with misinformation as WhatsApp is an end-to-end encrypted platform. Collecting data allows for us, the researchers, to understand how misinformation is shared in WhatsApp and to determine ways for users to better recognize and curb the spread of misinformation on the platform.

What Do You Do With The Data Collected?

We will release our findings in a journal/conference publication. We will use our results to design interventions that can curb the spread of misinformation on the WhatsApp platform.

Would AIR lab URL Extractor Sell The Data For Commercial Purposes?

No. AIR lab URL Extractor is a research project.

Using AIR lab URL Extractor
  • iOs: Upon downloading AIR lab URL Extractor, users can then export their WhatsApp chats and share each chat directly to the AIR lab URL Extractor app. The user will then be able to edit which URLs they wish to send to us. After the user has shared all the chats that they wish to with the AIR lab URL Extractor app, the user can then press “Continue to Send Chats” button, which takes them to a new screen. If applicable, the user then enters their Prolific ID and clicks on the checkbox to send the chats to the research team. If you are not an Prolific participant, you can leave this field blank. The user can also enter other email addresses to send their data too. Once the email addresses have been entered, the user can click “Send” and they will be redirected to their Mail app to send the email to us.
  • Android: This has a similar process as ios, except the user must first export their WhatsApp chats and save their exported chat text file to their Google Drive. Then the user must download the chat file from Google Drive to their local drive on their phone. Once that’s done, the user can go to the app and press the “Import Files” button and select the chat file. Then, the steps are the same as for iOs.
Who Is Allowed To Use AIR lab URL Extractor?

Because of restrictions about collecting information about minors, all AIR lab URL Extractor users must be over 18. By downloading the app, you agree that you are over the age of 18.

Do You Have A Consent Form For Users?

Yes. Link coming soon.

Who Is On The Research Team?


  • Oishee Chakrabarti
  • Marshini Chetty
  • Archie Brohn
  • Jason Chee
  • Kevin Feng (Princeton University)
  • Mirror Li (UChicago Alum)
  • Kevin Song