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Old 16th October 2015, 13:41
Hannia Hannia is offline
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16.10.2015 UNIAN

From early October 2015, Ukraine Today began broadcasting video digests produced by the Ukrainian fact-checking project 'Stopfake.org'. The most interesting and discussed false news of the week will be included in the digest and, of course, debunked.

The website Stopfake.org was created in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, accompanied by a ruthless information war, Ukraine Today reports.

The authors of the project are graduates and teachers of Kyiv Mohyla School of Journalism, who say their aim is to combat false information about Ukraine in the Russian, Ukrainian and Western media by refuting fakes that are distributed by these media.

Now the StopFake project has grown into a whole media outlet with a presence on social networks, a website translated into several languages and a YouTube channel.

With the battle for people's hearts and minds going on, volunteers and media professionals say they have no aim to stop the war with fabricated stories and biased reports about events inUkraine.
Ukraine Today and project 'Stopfake' join efforts to expose false media reports : UNIAN news
October 16, 2015 - 13:42 News
Russian Embassy in Great Britain Uses Fake Photo of British Veterans

On October 9, the Russian Federation’s Embassy in Great Britain posted a fake photo on its official Twitter page of a group of British World War II veterans. It used the photo to illustrate a story about an alleged gathering of Allied war veterans in Russian-occupied Crimea on October 6.…
StopFake - Struggle against fake information about events in Ukraine

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  #233 (permalink)  
Old 16th October 2015, 16:32
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Russia’s Fictions on Malaysia Flight 17

After an exhaustive, 15-month investigation, the Dutch Safety Board affirmed on Tuesday what has long been generally known or suspected — that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile.

Even Russia, which has spent much of those 15 months generating all kinds of implausible theories that put the blame for the crash and its 298 victims on Ukraine, and doing its best to thwart investigations, has had to acknowledge that this is what happened. But it now argues that the fatal missile was an older model that the Russian armed forces no longer use, and that it was fired from territory controlled by the Ukrainian government.

The five-nation team led by the Dutch Safety Board did not assign responsibility. That will be the job of Dutch prosecutors. But the board’s minutely detailed report is consistent with theories advanced by the United States and Ukraine as well as evidence collected by the independent investigative website Bellingcat.com, which hold that the fatal missile was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

In one key detail, the Dutch report undermined Russia’s competing claim. The Russian corporation that manufactures Buk missiles, Almaz-Antey, held its own news conference on Tuesday at which it said it had detonated a warhead of the sort used to arm the Buk missile identified by the Dutch alongside a decommissioned Russian jetliner to demonstrate that this explosion would pepper the plane with bowtie-shape shrapnel, which it said was not found at the crash site. But in fact, the Dutch board said it had discovered fragments of that exact shape, including some in the bodies of the cockpit crew.

This fact is not something Russians are likely to learn; Russian television has presented only the Kremlin’s disinformation of what is going on in Ukraine and, for that matter, Syria. Propaganda works: A public opinion poll taken in July by the Levada Center found that 44 percent of Russians believe the plane was downed by the Ukrainian military, 17 percent thought it was by the United States, and only 3 percent believed it was the work of separatists.

Creating an alternative reality has been a big reason for President Vladimir Putin’s boundless popularity among Russians. He sees no reason to come clean for the shooting down of the Boeing 777. At the same time, Ukrainian authorities should also give some credible responses to the Dutch board’s criticism that Ukraine failed to close the air space over eastern Ukraine even though Ukrainian military aircraft had been shot down by Russian-backed rebels in the weeks before the downing of Flight 17.

Against Russia’s shameless deception, the Dutch, who lost the largest number of people in the tragedy, must be commended for the thoroughness and integrity of their investigation. The criminal investigation should be as clear and independent, no matter how hard the Kremlin tries to derail or mislead it. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/op...ft-region&_r=0

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  #234 (permalink)  
Old 11th December 2015, 10:27
Gotno Gizmo Gotno Gizmo is offline
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The degree of challenges to my pro-Ukraine Twitter posts by pro-Russian trolls is decreasing. This may be because I tend to pay less attention to the known pro-Russian troll Twitterati, but instead write pro-Ukraine remarks on official Russian Ambassadorial Twitter pages instead. I was once challenged by one Russian Embassy but their comments were re-Tweeted by others along with negative responses. After the 25th August of this year the Russian diplomatic service appeared to have curbed references concerning Ukraine or other controversial topics to a noticeable degree. I still continue to intrude upon their Twitter pages but without any response. I have no evidence that I have been blocked from these sites and I occasionally pick up short term followers from countries in South America and African continents who may have read my Tweets on the Russian sites within those regions.

Such challenges as I do receive are usually coming from new Twitter accounts with few followers (hallmarks of pro-Russian troll) often identifiable with "where is your evidence" remarks. In such a challenge yesterday I was sent the URL below of a Sky TV documetary entitled "The Rise of the Right". He wanted to offer this as evidence of Kiev being under the control of fascists. The presenter Ross Kemp has portrayed a "hard man" character who has gone into the world's dangerous zones to produce his documentaries. Whilst dining in a restaurant in the Kontractova Ploscha district of Kiev last year, I saw Ross Kemp with his camera crew so I realized that he was either going to/coming from a shoot in the war zone.
Ukraine: The Rise of The Right
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  #235 (permalink)  
Old 15th December 2015, 02:56
stepanstas stepanstas is offline
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Originally Posted by Gotno Gizmo View Post
The degree of challenges to my pro-Ukraine Twitter posts by pro-Russian trolls is decreasing. This may be because I tend to pay less attention to the known pro-Russian troll Twitterati, but instead write pro-Ukraine remarks on official Russian Ambassadorial Twitter pages instead. I was once challenged by one Russian Embassy but their comments were re-Tweeted by others along with negative responses.
Gotno, your Twitter stream is awesome.
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  #236 (permalink)  
Old 13th November 2017, 08:29
witkacy52 witkacy52 is offline
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A couple of news about Russian trolls activity - it's still not finished (and probably will never be): Inside a pro-Russia propaganda machine in Ukraine - BBC News
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Old 20th June 2018, 14:12
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Fake concern about “fake news” is a part of Kremlin’s deception strategy
EUROMAIDAN PRESS EU’s East StratCom Task Force 2018/06/19 - 17:57

"It is no wonder that for an average media consumer, these matryoshka dolls of endless deceptions inside bigger deceptions covered in deception can appear rather… deceptive."

Editor’s Note

Russia is the only suspect in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine. And since the crash Russia has been trying to be involved in the investigation despite the fact that no Russian nationals were among the victims, the crash didn’t occur over the Russian territory, Russia didn’t even design or manufacture or operate the Boeing 777. Finally, the aircraft wasn’t even registered in Russia.

The Russian approach to fake news is just the same. While Russian state generates and spreads tons of fake stories and misinformation, Russia wants to develop a system “under the auspices of the UN” to tackle fake news and, of course, the system should “meet the interests of all countries [read: of Russia – Ed.]”

A crucial part of Russian propaganda is also deception game about serious counter-disinformation activities and faking the concern about “fake news.”
“Thief cries, catch the thief!”

When pro-Kremlin commentators attempt to blur the facts about MH17, they insist that any investigation that does not include Russia among the investigators cannot be considered credible (despite the fact that Russia fabricated the only “evidence” it has presented).

This strategy, when an actor creates a problem and insists the problem cannot be solved without his permission and cooperation, can have multiple applications – and it can also be very effective in the communication domain.

Fakes about fakes

Thus, Russia – whose aggressive dissemination of fakes and disinformation have made it the only international actor to concern the 28 Heads of EU States enough for them to ask for a dedicated counter-disinformation unit by way of response – has publicly declared concern about “the spread of fake news,” as Vice News informed in May. A senior official from the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the problem should be dealt with at the level of United Nations.

“[Maxim] Buyakevich proposed that countries work together to develop a system under the auspices of the U.N. to tackle the proliferation of fake news, one that would meet the interests of all countries,” says the article.

It is hard to see how this initiative could ever have any meaningful result.

Accuse your enemy of what you are guilty of

It is not the first time that the Kremlin feigns an interest to enter the field of countering disinformation. One year ago, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a project that would track “fake news” about Russia in the Western press.

The Kremlin limited the fact-checking attempts to a huge red stamp saying FAKE. And the expert community soon ridiculed them. For comparison, please, see the disproof section for one of the cases reported in the last DisinfoReview.

Around the same period of time, also the Kremlin’s disinformation bulwark Russia Today announced its fact-checking service called “FakeCheck.” Also, in this case, real experts in this topic described the attempt to enter the field of countering disinformation as feeble. See another article by DFRLab: “The final four FakeCheck entries also recycle content, but they appear to have done so, not to expose disinformation, but to perpetuate it,” writes Ben Nimmo.

Apart from the above, there is one more benefit for Russia in launching initiatives like these. When you pretend that you are concerned about a problem, then it gives you the opportunity to present yourself as a victim of a problem, not as its instigator.

To put it in simpler words often used by our favorite satirical account: “Accuse your enemy of that which you are guilty”
Fake concern about "fake news" is a part of Kremlin's deception strategy |Euromaidan Press |

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  #238 (permalink)  
Old 20th June 2018, 14:12
Hannia Hannia is offline
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EU vs DISINFO 16 May 2018
Who is Darth Putin?


Disinformation can sometimes be fun – especially when the more awkward attempts to spread it are unmasked. We do our best to illustrate this point with a weekly fun story on the EUvsDisinfo website.

But some go further than highlighting embarrassing moments. One genre that has gained particular popularity is that of the parody accounts, which communicate political satire on social media. Our favourite is “Darth Putin” on Twitter.

The Darth Putin tweet used as illustration above has so far gained an impressive almost 2,500 retweets, and that success is well-deserved; in fact, Darth Putin manages in just one tweet to highlight a number of key points about the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign, which we have tried to describe in a whole series of feature articles in the course of the past year:

“If it looks like a duck,”

RT (Russia Today) does little to hide its true nature: chief editor Margarita Simonyan is on the record as saying that RT is needed “for about the same reason as why the country needs a Defense Ministry”, and that RT is capable of “conducting information war against the whole Western world,” using “the information weapon”.

“quacks like a duck,”

Pro-Kremlin media systematically repeat the political lines they receive from the Kremlin in the form of weekly instructions.

“denies it’s a duck,”

Even when evidence is piling up, the Kremlin’s media and communicators will continue to deny responsibility, as we have e.g. seen in the case of the downing of Malaysian Airways Flight MH17 and in the Salisbury poisoning incident.

“demands you prove it’s a duck,”

As easy it is to spread a lie, as difficult it can be to prove that the lie is a lie. Read about how a persistent BBC reporter on the ground in eastern Ukraine successfully unmasked a particularly morbid piece of pro-Kremlin disinformation.

“accuses you of being a duck, says your dog is a duck, that your friend’s cat is a duck”

One of the most frequently used defensive lines in pro-Kremlin disinformation is to turn tables and claim that everybody else is guilty of what the pro-Kremlin side is criticised for doing. The trick is known as “whataboutism”.

“and that all 3 aforementioned ‘ducks’ are Russophobic ducks,”

When the international community expresses concerns over the Kremlin’s policies and actions, pro-Kremlin media and communicators will usually say that the criticism is simply a result of “Russophobia”.

“it’s a Kremlin duck 🦆”

Quack-quack! Last autumn the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign was obsessed with the idea that yellow plastic ducks could become a weapon in the hands of the opposition.

Who is behind the popular Darth Putin parody account remains a well-kept secret; but we hope (s)he will continue to provide entertaining insight into how the disinformation machinery works.

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