Pro-Russian Disinformation Systematically Spread Using Western Media Channels
According to a new report released by researchers at the Crime and Security Research Institute at Cardiff University, western media channels are being manipulated by unidentified actors to spread pro-Russia government propaganda and disinformation. The researchers found evidence that provocative pro-Russian or anti-Western statements were being systematically posted in reader comments sections in certain articles relating to Russia. The researchers found such comments in 32 prominent media outlets in 16 different countries.
One example provided by the study reveals a small number of comments in a Mail Online story about the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan were used in a Russian news article under the headline “The British have compared the rise of the Taliban to power with the end of Western civilization.” The stories were published for audiences in Russia and Eastern Europe. The team uncovered roughly 242 stories that they believe were generated in a similar fashion. Certain outlets repeatedly targeted by the operation include Fox News, Washington Post, Le Figaro in France, and Die Welt in Germany.