News on Producers of Disinformation

On March 11, 2020 Twitter shared with the Stanford Internet Observatory accounts and tweets associated with five distinct takedowns. These include: Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt: 5,350 accounts and 36,523,977 tweets. The removed accounts were linked both to a September 2019 takedown of accounts linked to DotDev, a digital marketing firm operating out of Egypt […]

When medical authorities in China claimed they’d cured more than 750 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, using pseudoscience, one major British newspaper made sure there was space for China’s party line on the story. “Traditional Chinese medicine ‘helps fight coronavirus,’” declared the March 3 headline, in the online version of the […]

Top social media companies are adopting stricter rules to limit scams and thwart misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic. But posts continue to surface that violate them — underscoring how the companies are engaged in an infinite game of whack-a-mole that’s tough to win.  A page with more than 1,200 followers was peddling N95 masks on […]

President Trump brushed aside allegations that China — as well as Russia and Iran — are spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus during a 64-minute call with “Fox & Friends” on Monday, telling the hosts that “every country does it.” Why it matters: Multiple verified Chinese government Twitter accounts have promoted different conspiracy […]

Fox News host Laura Ingraham has deleted a tweet touting an unproven coronavirus treatment that a Twitter spokesperson said today ran afoul of its rules against misleading health information. Ingraham earlier this month tweeted praise for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug championed by President Donald Trump as a potential treatment for the virus, despite little evidence […]

SAN FRANCISCO — The day after the New Hampshire primary last month, Facebook’s security team removed a network of fake accounts that originated in Iran, which had posted divisive partisan messages about the U.S. election inside private Facebook groups.Hours later, the social network learned the campaign of Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York […]

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On March 22, Axios on HBO aired an interview it had conducted with Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, nearly a week earlier in which Cui reiterated his original Feb. 9 assertion that spreading coronavirus-related conspiracy theories would be “crazy” and “very harmful.” Cui was referring, albeit indirectly, to claims that the coronavirus that causes […]

It’s clear who loses from health misinformation. Mothers lose children after seeking advice in Facebook free-birth groups, measles break out in anti-vaxx communities, children with autism are poisoned from being fed bleach marketed as a miracle cure, and people die from misleading hope about a fake COVID-19 cure. The answer as to who profits from […]

Google’s threat analysis group, which counters targeted and government-backed hacking against the company and its users, sent account holders almost 40,000 warnings in 2019, with government officials, journalists, dissidents, and geopolitical rivals being the most targeted, team members said on Thursday.The number of warnings declined almost 25 percent from 2018, in part because of new […]

The nation’s most eminent media critics are virtually unanimous that television networks should stop the live broadcasting of the White House’s daily coronavirus briefings, which Donald Trump has turned into a torrent of dangerous lies, misinformation and self-aggrandizement. I totally agree that the broadcast networks shouldn’t break into regular programming to show the briefings live anymore. […]

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing China of an “intentional disinformation campaign” by China on coronavirus, as the United States deals with its own growing outbreak. In a news briefing Wednesday, Pompeo said China was “the first country to know about the risk to the world from this virus. And they repeatedly delayed sharing […]

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