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COVID-19: Pro-Kremlin media defend Beijing

By EU vs Disinfo Kremlin-controlled media have defended Chinese authorities against criticism, combining disinformation with pro-Beijing reporting. On 20 April, Russian TV lashed out against the US, defending Chinese authorities against criticism for their handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. The broadcast on state-controlled TV Rossiya 1 came after contacts between Moscow and Beijing on the highest level. RT (Russia Today) and the news agency RIA Novosti, both of which are

Emigrant espionage: How the Kremlin keeps the Russian diaspora abroad vulnerable

By Kseniya Kirillova, for Byline Times Kseniya Kirillova explains the influences that make Russians overseas prey to pressure from Vladimir Putin, and how to counteract them. ‘Putin, Bring in Troops!’ The head of a major Russian think tank, the Foundation for the Protection of National Values, last week proposed amending the Russian Constitution to include, in the words of Alexander Malkevich, the right to protect Russians abroad. In particular, the

Fixing the digital ecosystem

By Alex Romero, for Disinfo Portal This article is part two of a series by Alto Data Analytics about the workings of disinformation in the digital ecosystem. While there are no easy fixes, there are many opportunities to mitigate and build resilience against digital disinformation. Too often, politicians, regulators, and technology companies focus their efforts on combatting fake news rather than finding ways to mend vulnerabilities in the whole digital

Kremlin-friendly election observers from Europe and US at the presidential elections in Russia, March 2018

By European Platform for Democratic elections Executive summary 1513 foreign electoral observers monitored the Russian 2018 presidential election which constitutes the largest foreign electoral monitoring mission in Russia’s history. 598 of these observers were deployed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR); 363 observers were sent by other international organisations; 65 monitors

Getting to the root of the “fake news” problem means fixing what’s broken about journalism itself

At MisinfoCon, stopping “fake news” wasn’t the only focus: Issues from news literacy to newsroom standards and reader empathy to ad revenue were all up for discussion. By Shan Wang, Nieman Lab The spread of misinformation, as well as deliberate, fabricated news content online, has many heads, and no single weapon exists to defend against it. At MisinfoCon, a summit this past weekend hosted by the First Draft Coalition, the

Factual Entertainment: How to make media literacy popular

By Paul Copeland BEYOND PROPAGANDA | AUGUST 2016 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The age of information has mutated into the age of disinformation. Authoritarian rulers have learnt to entrench their power by flooding societies with disinformation that divides, confuses, and intimidates democratic opposition. Aggressive states and terrorist groups use mass-media falsifications, hate videos, and social-media trolls to destabilise other countries and communities. Across the world the Internet and global media have empowered

Fake: Polish President Calls for Return of Ukrainian Lands to Poland

Pro-Russian media falsely reported that Polish President Andrzej Duda had called for Poles to be “ready to fight for former Polish lands.” The alleged source was Polish anchorwoman Elżbieta Jaworowicz, who, it was claimed, had reported on the “Reporter’s Affair” program on the TVP 1 television network on the supposed speech made by Duda in the Polish city of Sejm. On October 20, the news website Russkaya Vesna posted the

Fake: Obama Asks Poroshenko for Invitation to Crimea

A little-known blog, Optimist, falsely claimed that U.S. President Barack Obama had asked Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to invite him to spend a vacation in Crimea, annexed by the Russian Federation. Allegedly he did this while they were both at the United Nations headquarters in New York in September for a meeting of the UN General Assembly. It gave CNN as its source. The story was then re-posted by Nefakt.info,

Anatomy of an Info-War: How Russia’s Propaganda Machine Works, and How to Counter It

Russia’s propaganda assault on the West is well-organized and well-funded. However, it is also predictable, and this is its weakness.  Executive Summary One of Russia’s great successes in its campaign around Ukraine has been what Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss call its weaponization of information. It uses a network of officials, journalists, sympathetic commentators and internet trolls to create an alternative reality in which all truth is relative, and no

Lies: Ukrainian Minister of Defence Called for a New Counterinsurgency Operation

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has twisted the words of Ukrainian Minister of Defence, taking them out of context. On September 1 Russian Ministry of Foreign Defence website posted a manifest, claiming Ukrainian Minister of Defence Valerii Geletei had called to “prepare for another ‘dozens of thousands’ of victims in his so-called ‘Great patriotic war’, which is in fact a counterinsurgency operation”. “Thus he pushes Ukrainians into the continuation of the

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