In January 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) sent an investigation team to Wuhan, China to determine the likely origins of COVID-19. The investigation came on the heels of rampant rumors accusing China of causing the pandemic due to human error at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Weeks prior to the release of the final WHO report on March 30, Chinese media claimed that the investigation “smashed the conspiracy theory”. Well before the public had seen the full report, Chinese media outlets promoted and cherry-picked the results that aligned with Beijing’s interests. Content supporting China’s narrative initially appeared in the…

BLUF:

  • Russian and Chinese IO rapidly adapted to address the siege of the US Capitol and have aggressively attacked American democracy in media coverage
  • China: most concerned with US double standards in criticism of domestic protests, whether they occur domestically or abroad, with a special emphasis on Hong Kong protests.
  • Russia: compared the riots to the Color Revolutions; maintains past approaches to unrest in the US by amplifying radical perspectives and sowing discord with volatile content.

Within minutes of the crisis unraveling at the US Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, US adversaries seized on the critical moment and began spinning…

RT Spanish claims that the Jeanine Anez administration has deep ties to the USA

After five months of delay, the Bolivian election is finally approaching. The deeply polarized country heads to polls on October 18. With the divisive former president Evo Morales still in exile and not allowed to run, and the unpopular interim president Jeanine Anez announcing that she will not seek office, Bolivia will have a new president. Key contenders are former Economy Minister Luis Arce, from Morales’ Movement for Socialism party (MAS), and former president, Carlos Mesa, from the centrist political coalition Civic Community. Opposed to Anez’s pro-US stance, several actors, namely the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation, and…

Summary

The presidential campaign of Donald Trump was the top advertiser on Kremlin and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda outlets on YouTube in a test of over 2,500 videos. The Trump campaign appeared on Russian propaganda outlets at 1.5 times the rate of the second most prolific advertiser, and was the number two advertiser on CCP outlets. For each dollar the Trump campaign spent on the propaganda outlets, YouTube sent $0.55 to the respective authoritarians.

Overview

Our experiment loaded a sample of the most watched videos from each of the most watched YouTube channels belonging to the Russian government and…

On July 12, 2020, skirmishes erupted between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces along the two country’s shared border. Similar skirmishes have occurred in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. The ongoing clash is notable for being removed from Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan self-styled as the Republic of Artsakh. Along with physical combat, both sides deployed their digital propaganda arms to win the information war around the events.

From July 12 to July 19, we found 6,809 publications relating to conflict, with 95% originating with Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, and the United States. The Azerbaijani state has published 5.3 times…

“Some don’t think #BlackLivesMatter” tweeted Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, “To those of us who do: it is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism.” The tweet was among over 3,500 pieces the Iranian state has published on racism since the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Racial inequality in the United States has long served as a popular refrain for adversarial states, and Iran has often called for solidarity with Black Americans. During the Iranian hostage crisis, Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the release of black hostages because “blacks for a long time…

Summary: In our research, we found no evidence that adversarial state-sponsored influence operations started or incited domestic protests that have rapidly turned violent since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Rather, adversaries are relishing in the distrust and discord of internal domestic issues faced by the US by highlighting the racism, police brutality, and internal strife of the US.

Russia has published over 1,600 pieces about the unrest, primarily geared towards English-speaking audiences (38%). Russia has attempted to stoke grievances on both right and left. Dozens of pieces conflated protesters and rioters, amplifying stories about attacks on shopkeepers, and…

Years of Historical Revisionism Lay The Groundwork For Russian Nationalism

Soviet Soldier Raising a Flag Over the Reichstag on May 2, 1945

May 8–9th of this year is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe or VE (Victory in Europe) Day. For all European nations, this is an important milestone recalling the most devastating conflict in human history, but this day carries even greater significance for Russia. As the Soviet Union lost twenty million of its own, more than any nation in any war in history, WWII is ingrained in the collective Russian memory…

Claim on Weibo That TCM Is Effective Treatment For COVID-19, translation from Chinese by Google

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has followed its drastic measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 with an all-out information campaign to present their response at home as visionary as their leadership abroad as magnanimous. Among the stories of Chinese engineers constructing makeshift hospitals in record time, and Chinese doctors sharing their accomplishments with afflicted nations around the world, a consistent theme in the CCP’s messaging has been the value of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in treating COVID-19.

Chinese state media began extolling the value of TCM almost as soon as the virus began attracting international attention, with four posts…

Fabulist claims have overshadowed directives to shield the population from Coronavirus

As COVID-19 has devastated Iran, officially claiming the lives of 2,378, with analysts estimating the true number to be perhaps ten times greater, Iran has deployed its digital propaganda to, above all else, minimize the crisis.

Over the past 14 days, of the top three stories for each of the ten most prolific actors in our database have concerned COVID-19. Only one of Iran’s did the same. Instead, Iranian media and ministers derided the U.S.’s military actions in Iraq (88 posts) and blasted its extradition of an Iranian citizen in the U.K. (55)

While Iran’s reporting on COVID-19 globally has…

Omelas

Omelas stops the weaponization of the Internet by malicious actors

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