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Russia secretly ran news websites in eastern Europe • Buzzfeed News
Holger Roonemaa and Inga Springe:
<p>Russian state media created secret companies in order to bankroll websites in the Baltic states — a key battleground between Russia and the West — and elsewhere in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The scheme has only come to light through Skype chats and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, Estonian newspaper Postimees, and investigative journalism outlet Re:Baltica via freedom of information laws, as part of a criminal probe into the individual who was Moscow’s man on the ground in Estonia.

The Skype logs and other files, obtained from computers seized by investigators, reveal the secrets and obfuscating tactics used by Russia as it tries to influence public opinion and push Kremlin talking points.

The websites presented themselves as independent news outlets, but in fact, editorial lines were dictated directly by Moscow. Raul Rebane, a leading strategic communications expert in Estonia, said that this scheme and others like it are “systemic information-related activities on foreign territory. In other words — information warfare.”

He said that Russian propaganda networks in the Baltics had been operating for years but had become more intense recently. “The pressure to turn [Estonia] from facing the West to facing the East has grown.”

Long before Russian interference in the 2016 US election became one of the biggest stories in the world, and Kremlin disinformation campaigns became a household issue, Moscow faced accusations of trying to influence public opinion in the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, which are all members of NATO.

The revelations about the websites in the Baltic states provide a rare and detailed inside look into how such disinformation campaigns work, and the lengths to which Moscow is willing to go to obscure its involvement in such schemes.</p>
russia  disinformation  socialwarming 
23 days ago by charlesarthur
Although the spread of is rampant, scholarship identifies numerous practical ways to combat it. Cri…
disinformation  from twitter_favs
23 days ago by rukku
Russian trolls 'spreading discord' over vaccine safety
Bots and Russian trolls spread misinformation about vaccines on Twitter to sow division and distribute malicious content before and during the American presidential election, according to a new study.

Scientists at George Washington University, in Washington DC, made the discovery while trying to improve social media communications for public health workers, researchers said. Instead, they found trolls and bots skewing online debate and upending consensus about vaccine safety.

The study discovered several accounts, now known to belong to the same Russian trolls who interfered in the US election, as well as marketing and malware bots, tweeting about vaccines.

Russian trolls played both sides, the researchers said, tweeting pro- and anti-vaccine content in a politically charged context.

“These trolls seem to be using vaccination as a wedge issue, promoting discord in American society,” Mark Dredze, a team member and professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins, which was also involved in the study, said.
news  politics  antivax  disinfo  disinformation  Russia  USA  trolls  vaccines  herd-immunity  2018 
27 days ago by zzkt
russian-ads: top_targets: 1,665 rows
The Russian facey campaign was fundamentally targeted at black people.
russia  facebook  fakenews  data  advertising  disinformation 
5 weeks ago by yorksranter
Understanding Chemical Hazards and Risks
Every day, people are exposed to a variety of activities or products that could, under certain circumstances, cause harm. There’s a potential for harm or injury in nearly every activity we engage in – whether it’s when we cross a street, ride in an automobile, or play in a baseball game. This potential for harm can be referred to as “risk.”
5 weeks ago by icresource
A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling
it turned out to be far more effective to simply inundate the platforms with a torrent of disinformation and anonymized threats—what the researchers dubbed a strategy of “information abundance” made possible by the rapid spread of social media.
politics  trolls  fakenews  facebook  bots  russia  disinformation  to_blog 
6 weeks ago by yorksranter
Weaponized information seeks a new target in cyberspace: Users' minds
Objectively educated, rational citizens should serve as the foundation of a strong democratic society. But that defense fails if people don’t have the skills – or worse, don’t use them – to think critically about what they’re seeing and examine claims of fact before accepting them as true.
fakenews  disinformation  forefront  medialiteracy 
6 weeks ago by glanosga
Last chance to apply for our Summer School in Jakarta, co-hosted with
Disinformation  from twitter_favs
6 weeks ago by dietrich

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