News Briefs
11 December, 2019
Hour by hour: How disinformation swept the UK internet in the election’s final days

In the febrile final 72 hours of Britain’s snap Christmas election, a tide of disinformation began sweeping across the UK internet, with Conservative-leaning trolls and bots coming out in force. Here’s a timeline of what happened. Sunday December 8, 11am It started with a photograph. A mother’s picture of her sick son sleeping on the

12 November, 2019
Owners of a Russian YouTube channel for children face prison for featuring an interview with a gay man

The owners of a Russian YouTube channel for children are facing up to 20 years in prison on felony charges for “sexual violence against minors” after they published a video interview with a gay man. The YouTube channel, Real Talk, which takes its inspiration from HiHo Kids, outraged State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy who

1 November, 2019
The Russian disinformation machine turns its attention to Africa

Facebook announced it took down dozens of pages shown to be spreading Russian-backed disinformation in Africa after the company was tipped off by a group of Stanford researchers.   The pages were aimed at audiences in eight countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Madagascar, Sudan and Libya. The pages’ scope was significant:

31 October, 2019
Twitter’s decision to stop running political ads divides opinions about the impact to free speech

Twitter’s decision to stop running political ads has divided opinions among disinformation experts, politicians and journalists about how the move will impact free speech. The social media site with 139 million daily users will no longer allow political advertising on the platform, with CEO Jack Dorsey writing that “political messages reach should be earned, not

9 October, 2019
Russian cyber criminals offer fake news campaigns to companies worldwide

A new report underlines how we have to be vigilant about what we find on the internet as not only political misinformation runs rampant, but so does corporate disinformation. As governments across the world battle massive disinformation campaigns on social media and elsewhere, cyber criminals seem to have discovered that there’s quite a lot of

3 October, 2019
As the impeachment inquiry gathers pace in the US, experts say Russia seeks advantage

Over a week after the speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the start of the impeachment inquiry related to President Donald Trump’s efforts to press Ukraine to investigate a leading political rival, the fast escalating investigation has given Russian broadcasters a fresh line of attack. With the war in Donbas in its fifth year,

23 September, 2019
Google ads are funneling money into disinformation sites

The online disinformation industry is booming — and unless a number of key measures are implemented, it’s only set to get more lucrative, a new report warns. Around a quarter of a billion dollars in ad revenue is funding disinformation, according to estimates in the study by the Global Disinformation Index, a London nonprofit. The

28 August, 2019
Polio cases are surging in Pakistan because of false rumors and disinformation

While Nigeria recently celebrated  three years without a single case of polio, Pakistan is facing an alarming surge in new cases. Pakistan has seen over 50 cases of polio this year, kicking off various mass awareness campaigns and a mass immunization program across the country that will give drops to 8.6 million children in 48

23 August, 2019
Disinformation can lead to false memories

Reading a fake news story can lead us to have false memories, according to a new study carried out during the 2018 Irish abortion referendum. Researchers in Ireland and the U.S. teamed up to look at what happens to our memories when we come across disinformation, and conducted the peer-reviewed study during the week leading

21 August, 2019
Social media platforms crack down on China’s disinfo campaign against Hong Kong protests

On Monday, Twitter announced it investigated and removed over 900 China-linked accounts that “were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground.” The statement said these active accounts were part of 200,000 accounts, which were eliminated before they

19 June, 2019
Russia denies meddling in the 2019 European Parliament elections in wake of EU report

Russia has denied participating in a disinformation campaign after the European Commission released a preliminary report, saying it had found evidence that sources from the country meddled in the European elections, which took place at the end of May. The report, published on Friday, found “continued and sustained disinformation activity” by Russian groups to spread

11 June, 2019
Kazakh authorities label protestors “radical elements” as they arrest hundreds

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets angered by the results in Kazakhstan’s snap election which crowned their long-time leader’s hand-picked successor as the new president. So what did the Interior Ministry do? Arrest 600 demonstrators and label them as “radical elements seeking to destabilize society.” Kazakh authorities are using a familiar disinformation playbook