Figure of the week: 203

Figure of the week: 203

By EU vs Disinfo Facebook and Instagram have removed a total of 203 accounts linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that were operating out of Ghana and Nigeria and targeted the United States. Earlier this month, a cross-platform social media influence operation linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) but run from Africa was exposed through a joint investigation involving CNN, Facebook, Twitter, social media analytics firm Graphika, and researchers

Kremlin Watch Briefing: How is the Chinese Communist Party manipulating the global pandemic?

Topics of the Week Putin’s Chef threatens to the U.S. with a lawsuit while the U.S. senators urge the EU to put him on a sanctions list. Tech companies attempt to coordinate the fight against misinformation amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Kremlin’s Current Narrative: Russia’s aid to Italy as foreign policy in the guise of humanitarian assistance Good Old Soviet Joke An old man is dying in a deserted hut. Suddenly, there

Coronavirus in Russia: Independent journalists call the bluff

By EU vs Disinfo For good reasons, independent Russian journalists are in a better position than many others to see through the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns. What has been the response of Russian fact-checking journalists to recent messages about the coronavirus in Kremlin-controlled media? And are we beginning to see changes in the way the disinformation is perceived in Russia? Scientists, Putin, the EU and sanctions The Insider is a Russian

The news media sounded the alarm on coronavirus for months — but few listened. Why?

“It’s clear that the public’s lack of trust in journalism generally mirrors the public’s lack of trust in coronavirus journalism specifically.” By Jacob L. Nelson, for The Conversation Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, China, journalists at the biggest U.S. news organizations have diligently reported on the many dangers posed by its rapid spread. Yet even as entire states — like California and New York — shut down, many

Are universities punishing students ‘over common cold’?

By Polygraph Dominic Gregoriosenior, University of Pennsylvania“I wish the economy and the academy were not so easily incapacitated by the common cold. I wish (U. Penn) President Gutmann had heard the COVID-19 mortality rates in the U.S. were just above 0.1 percent, very similar to the seasonal flu, and acted like it.” Source: The UPENN Statesman, March 18, 2020 False COVID-19 is no common cold In a blog written for

All’s fair in love and war: Democracy in a state of emergency

By Corina Rebegea, for CEPA In the fight with the global COVID-19 crisis, many leaders are adopting a wartime discourse. The measures imposed—lockdowns, postponed elections, and surveillance—buy time, but they go beyond anything most people in the Western world have seen since the 1940s. Alarm bells are sounding in some quarters about that. Hungary’s state of emergency is particularly draconian. Groups such as Freedom House and Access Now are urging

Russian senator falsely claims poles closed airspace to virus aid

By Polygraph Alexey PushkovChairman of the commission on information policy of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament“Poland did not let Russian aircraft carrying aid to Italy pass through its airspace. This is meanness at the level of public policy. Moreover, the help was for an ally of Poland in the EU and NATO. From now on, Russia should not meet Poland half-way, on any issue.” Source: Sputnik,

The community of collapse

By EU vs Disinfo The Kremlin, the conspiracy theorists and the coronavirus In an article last year, EUvsDisinfo described the dialogue of disinformation. Disinformation outlets need to adopt to the audience, carefully map and understand sentiments, prejudice and ideals. Lies are best if they resonate with the worldviews, superstitions and archetypes of the intended audience. The COVID-19 outbreak illustrates this dialogue of disinformation very clearly. Take for instance the trope

Sputnik: Coronavirus could be designed to kill elderly Italians

By EU vs Disinfo In a time that calls for international cooperation to fight a common threat, Kremlin mouthpiece Sputnik chooses to spread disinformation about COVID-19.  A Sputnik article published on 15 March promoted an entire catalogue of unfounded theories about the origin of the coronavirus: from the idea that COVID-19 could originate in Latvia to the suggestion that it could have been created as a means to reduce the number of elderly people in Italy. What makes Sputnik want to misinform audiences about the origin of the

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