Friday, November 25, 2016

Russia Spread Fake News To Influence US Election

Russia Spread Fake News To Influence US Election --- ===

November 24, 2016





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MottoIs It Propaganda Or Not? - Your Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service, Since 2016!
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Executive Director[1]
PropOrNot is a group that seeks to expose what it calls Russian propaganda and groups that use material from Russian sources.
PropOrNot's methods and its anonymity have received criticism from publications including The New YorkerHarper'sFortuneThe Intercept, and Rolling Stone among others.

Operations and organization[edit]

The website is anonymously written; a spokesperson for the website who spoke by phone to the New Yorker was described as an American male who was "well versed in Internet culture and swore enthusiastically". The same spokesperson said that the group comprised around 40 individuals.[2]

Compiled list[edit]

PropOrNot says there was a Russian propaganda effort involved in propagating fake news during the 2016 U.S. election.[3][4] PropOrNot has said it analyzed data from Twitter and Facebook and tracked propaganda from a disinformation campaign by Russia that had a national reach of 15 million people within the United States.[3][4] PropOrNot concluded that accounts belonging to both Russia Today and Sputnik News promoted "false and misleading stories in their reports", and additionally magnified other false articles found on the Internet to support their propaganda effort.[3]
PropOrNot published a list of websites they called "bona-fide ‘useful idiots’" of the Russian government based on methodology they called "a combination of manual and automated analysis, including analysis of content, timing, technical indicators, and other reporting".[5] The group's list included Zero HedgeNaked Capitalism, the Ron Paul InstituteBlack Agenda, and CounterPunch, although they did not provide any individual analysis to justify inclusion on the list.[5] CounterPunch in response called PropOrNot a "shady little group", its findings "bogus", and their inclusion on the list a "baseless allegation". After email communications, PropOrNot agreed to remove CounterPunch from the list.[6]


Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper's, was sharply critical of The Washington Post's decision to put the story on its front page, calling the article a "sorry piece of trash".[1] Writers in The InterceptFortune, and Rolling Stone criticized The Washington Post for including a report by an organization with no reputation for fact-checking in an article on "fake news".[7][8][9] The Intercept journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton were particularly critical of the inclusion of Naked Capitalism on the list of "useful idiots" for Russian propagandists.[7]
Later, in The New Yorker, Adrian Chen said that he had been previously contacted by the organization, but had chosen not to follow up with them. Looking more carefully into their methodology, he argued that PropOrNot's criteria for establishing propaganda were so broad that they could have included "not only Russian state-controlled media organizations, such as Russia Today, but nearly every news outlet in the world, including the Post itself" on their list.[2]
Writing for Rolling StoneMatt Taibbi questioned the methodology used by PropOrNot and the lack of information about who was behind the organization.[9]
In December 2016, The Washington Post appended an "Editor's Note" to its article in response to the criticism of PropOrNot's list of websites.[10] The note read, "The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c Grove, Lloyd (9 December 2016), "Washington Post on the 'Fake News' Hot Seat", The Daily Beast, retrieved 11 December 2016
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Chen, Adrian (December 1, 2016). "The Propaganda About Russian Propaganda". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Timberg, Craig (24 November 2016), "Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say", The Washington Post, retrieved 15 December 2016, Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b "Russian propaganda effort likely behind flood of fake news that preceded election", PBS NewsHour, Associated Press, 25 November 2016, retrieved 26 November 2016
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Nelson, Steven (November 29, 2016). "Publications Called Russian-Propaganda Distributors Consider Suing Anonymous 'Experts'". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  6. Jump up^ "CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post's Shallow Smear". 2 December 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b Ben Norton; Glenn Greenwald (26 November 2016), "Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group", The Intercept, retrieved 27 November 2016
  8. Jump up^ Ingram, Matthew (25 November 2016), "No, Russian Agents Are Not Behind Every Piece of Fake News You See", Fortune magazine, retrieved 27 November 2016
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Taibbi, Matt (28 November 2016). "The 'Washington Post' 'Blacklist' Story Is Shameful and Disgusting". Rolling Stone.
  10. Jump up^ "Washington Post Appends Editor's Note to Russian Propaganda Story". Washingtonian. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.

External links[edit]


PropOrNot’s Grandiose Fabrications Naked Capitalism  Posted on December 5, 2016 by Yves Smith
The fake news site about fake news known as PropOrNot1 has been roundly derided, most recently by the New Yorker and the media watchdog FAIR, as an inept propaganda effort that has gotten far more attention that it ever deserved.

It’s worth noting that PropOrNot’s efforts, as Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept, and Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone pointed out, were so obviously childish and overreaching that no reputable reporter should ever have regarded them as credible....  A fresh incident involves the curious removal of five websites, including CounterPunch, from PropOrNot’s McCarthyite blacklist of 200 websites.

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The List -
PropOrNot is an independent team of concerned American citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including professional experience in computer science ...

The List - PropOrNot
Nov 30, 2016 

List v0.0.6: Initial Release
List v0.0.7:
Removed following constructive conversations with outlet operators:,,,

Added:, kremlintrolls: n an August 02 2015 post about the network of websites I turned up a site in China, This post will repeat some of that information, and build out the Chinese network it is part of. Sites like and are channels broadcasting the work of agents of influence.,,,

More detailed analysis is ongoing: kremlintrolls: window dressing for Russian and Iranian information operations partners:
  • - China  “lifelong grassroots political activist” for the cause of Korea’s self-determined reunification, peace and security. As a result, he’s been also deeply involved with the human liberation and global justice issues around the world.

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