Digital media played a prominent role in the recent US presidential election, with social media platforms channelling previously fringe universes of political culture, rooted in populism and post-truth politics, right into the mainstream of US political discourse. Meanwhile, traditional mechanisms, from polling to mainstream media, failed to adequately capture public sentiment around political events. Are new instruments needed to understand the socio-technical fabric of the post-truth political landscape? And what can digital researchers do to contribute? Liliana Bounegru outlines examples of approaches being developed at the Digital Methods Initiative that hope to assist digital researchers, data journalists, civil society groups and others looking to increase public understanding of these phenomena.