News on Producers of Disinformation

In the hours and days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, rattled Republican lawmakers knew exactly who was to blame: Donald J. Trump. Loyal allies began turning on him. Top Republicans vowed to make a full break from his divisive tactics and dishonesties. Some even discussed removing him from office. By spring, however, […]

Joe Biden might want to consider re-backpedaling after his accusation that social media companies [Facebook] are “killing people” by spreading vaccine conspiracies and bunk. A new study suggests that Facebook’s news consumers are inordinately unwilling to get the covid-19 vaccine. Facebook fired back at President Biden’s comment earlier this month with a from Carnegie Mellon […]

SAN FRANCISCO — The article that appeared online on Feb. 9 began with a seemingly innocuous question about the legal definition of vaccines. Then over its next 3,400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were “a medical fraud” and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease. Instead, the […]

“It started with an email” says Mirko Drotschmann, a German YouTuber and journalist. Mirko normally ignores offers from brands asking him to advertise their products to his more than 1.5 million subscribers. But the sponsorship offer he received in May this year was unlike any other. An influencer marketing agency called Fazze offered to pay […]

In May, several French and German social media influencers received a strange proposal. A London-based public relations agency wanted to pay them to promote messages on behalf of a client. A polished three-page document detailed what to say and on which platforms to say it. But it asked the influencers to push not beauty products […]

YouTube has removed videos from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the latest tech giant to pull his statements about the pandemic. YouTube said in a press release the decision was taken “after careful review” and without consideration for Bolsonaro’s job or political ideology. The far-right former army […]

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has always been a lightning rod for controversy. Since its creation in 1988, conspiracy theorists and politicians funded by fossil fuel interests have tried to undermine the organization’s science by portraying the panel as a power-mongering globalist organization set on overthrowing capitalism. And as the severity of the climate […]

In Kazakhstan this week, the film director Oliver Stone presented his latest documentary, Qazaq: History of the Golden Man, an eight-hour hagiographic ode to the autocrat Nursultan Nazarbayev—a particularly grotesque move in a country where the government has been systemically stifling media ever since declaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Today, Kazakhstan has […]

Back in December, before the queen of England and the president-elect of the United States had their turns, the media mogul Rupert Murdoch received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Afterward, he urged everyone else to get it, too. Since then, a different message has been a repeated refrain on the prime-time shows hosted by […]

The online disinformation campaign now known as #Pizzagate, which extremists blasted into mainstream visibility on such sites as Twitter and Reddit, targeted Alefantis with a storm of harassment and lies, falsely suggesting that liberal elites abused children in the basement of his pizza restaurant. The #Pizzagate fable ultimately inspired a man to drive across state […]

During the active crisis of the Parkland school shooting in February 2018, a photo misidentifying the alleged perpetrator moved from 4chan to the mainstream media when Infowars picked up the image, muddying the waters around the actual shooting. The misidentification led to targeted harassment of the individual in the photograph, who was not associated with […]

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