OneÂ example of Russian Disinformation & Fake Site is SouthFront.orgÂ Â — How toÂ know thatÂ this site isÂ Â fake and only provides whatever suits Russia while pretending not be be Russian.Â Â Easy.
Find out who owns and controls SouthFront.orgÂ Â Go to SouthFront.org and on the site and on the site go to About.
There you find:
“SouthFront Analysis & Intelligence is a public analytical umbrella organization created and maintained by a team of experts and volunteers from the four corners of the Earth.”
That’s it.Â That’s all the site will say about who owns SouthFront.orgÂ Â Not much there is there?Â Zero information as to who owns and controls the site.
Further — the articles provide no authors as to who wrote the article and no sources as to whenceÂ the highly particular, detailed information.Â
Note –Â Â if you want to contactÂ SouthFront.org, you must provide your first and last name and your e-mail address.Â Â Search high and long and you will find no names and no e-mails for any person supposedly connected with SouthFront.org
Does that give you a clue?Â You must identify yourself but the site will not identify anyone as actually is connected with the site.
Another way to determineÂ whetherÂ SouthFront is fakeÂ is to examine what others say.Â So what do others say?
Reports of disinformation
“In 2016, Finnish journalist Jessikka AroÂ writing inÂ Springer LinkÂ describedÂ SouthFrontÂ as “an allegedly citizen-sourced project that looks more like a suspicious information operation.” Describing it as “a fascinating hybrid of revealingly detailed military intelligence and totally bogus stories,” she said that the site’s content centers on “the success of Russia’s armed forces, and showing off Russia’s weapons.”
“In 2020, the US State DepartmentÂ describedÂ SouthFrontÂ as part of Russia’s “disinformationÂ andÂ propagandaÂ ecosystem,” where Russian state actors team with others whose connection to Russia was less clear, in order to get wide attention for their ideas.
According to the State DepartmentÂ report, SouthFrontÂ “combinesÂ KremlinÂ talking points with detailed knowledge of military systems and ongoing conflicts and attempts to appeal to military enthusiasts, veterans, and conspiracy theorists.”
“In 2021 and again in 2022, the US TreasuryÂ announced sanctions againstÂ SouthFront, calling it in 2021 “an online disinformation site registered in Russia that…attempts to appeal to military enthusiasts, veterans, and conspiracy theorists, all while going to great lengths to hide its connections to Russian intelligence.”
“The 2022 Treasury report alleged that SouthFrontÂ was sanctioned in part for being “owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, theÂ FSB” which is Russia’s successor to Soviet Union’sÂ KGB.
In 2014,Â Radio Free Europe, reported: “The English-language Facebook page for South Front, which has slightly more than 11,500 subscribers, is a mix of carefully selected ‘news’ from the region — usually from sources likeÂ LifeNews, a video news outlet believed to have ties to Russia’s security services — and anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western memes.”Â They describedÂ SouthFrontÂ as “a group supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.”
Writing in 2019, the European Union’sÂ East StratCom Task ForceÂ analyzed site meta-data and reported, “South Front is registered in Russia, money donated to the site goes to Russia and the editor is named Anastasia.
But the most compelling evidence for South Frontâ€™s being Russian is in the content…South Front is loyally relaying whatever suits the Kremlin, pretending not to be Russian.”Â Two days after that report appeared,Â SouthFrontÂ anonymized their videos, removing Russian text that had listed the name of their video editor as “Natasha.”Â The second report also citedÂ WHOISÂ information for southfront.org, showing the domain was registered on April 30, 2015, with Russian registrar REG.RU.
In 2022, the US Treasury department said, “Although it previously focused on the 2020 U.S. presidential election,Â SouthFrontÂ has also spread information suggesting that Ukraine or NATO could use chemical weapons within the country with hopes to blame it on Russia.”
Collaboration withÂ Veterans TodayÂ andÂ Veterans News Now
In 2017, researchers atÂ Oxford University’s Internet InstituteÂ studied the collaboration ofÂ SouthFrontÂ with two US-based sites,Â Veterans TodayÂ and its sister siteÂ Veterans News Now.Â Veterans TodayÂ is “aÂ fake newsÂ site actively pushing the Kremlin party line,” according toÂ University of WashingtonÂ professorÂ Kate Starbird.
Philip N. Howard, one of the paper’s coauthors, toldÂ McClatchy DCÂ the three websites underlay “an entire ecosystem of junk news about national security issues that is deliberately crafted for U.S. veterans and active military personnel…a complex blend of content with a Russian view of the world â€“ wild rumors and conspiracies.”Â The Oxford researchers concluded that the three sites were more successful on Twitter than on Facebook, saying “on Twitter there are significant and persistent interactions between current and former military personnel and a broad network of Russia-focused accounts, conspiracy theory focused accounts, and European right-wing accounts.”
SouthFrontÂ representatives responded to aÂ PoliticoÂ story about the Oxford study with an email saying they had no connection to Russia’s government, adding that describing them as part of a Kremlin network was “contrary to the principles of freedom of speech and .. discriminatory against Russians.”
Lots of sources report that SouthFront.org is fake.Â Â And you say?
written 9/11/2022 by Cameron Jackson, Ph.D.Â Â Â firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ Â 127 Jewell Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95003