Vice: Google Is Putting Amazon Prime Ads on Russia-Backed Sites Spreading Coronavirus Conspiracies. “New research by the Global Disinformation Network has revealed that 1,400 fake news websites spreading coronavirus conspiracy theories across Europe have been funded to the tune of $76 million by ad tech companies — with more than 60% of the revenue coming from Google alone. Many of those websites are linked to the Kremlin or directly funded by the Russian government.”
CNN: Russian election meddling is back — via Ghana and Nigeria — and in your feeds. “The Russian trolls are back — and once again trying to poison the political atmosphere in the United States ahead of this year’s elections. But this time they are better disguised and more targeted, harder to identify and track. And they have found an unlikely home, far from Russia itself.”
Washington Post: State Department blames ‘swarms of online, false personas’ from Russia for wave of coronavirus misinformation online. “A top State Department official said Thursday that Russia is behind ‘swarms of online, false personas’ that sought to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media sites, stressing the ‘entire ecosystem of Russian disinformation is at play.’ The latest warning came from Lea Gabrielle, the coordinator of the government’s Global Engagement Center, in testimony to Congress.”
Wired: Russia Is Learning How to Bypass Facebook’s Disinfo Defenses. “Since Russia’s stunning influence operations during the 2016 United States presidential race, state and federal officials, researchers, and tech companies have been on high alert for a repeat performance. With the 2020 election now just seven months away, though, newly surfaced social media posts indicate that Russia’s Internet Research Agency is adapting its methods to circumvent those defenses.”
The Root: A Clapback to Russian Trolls. “Just last week, new reports of interference emerged—this time showing Russia’s efforts to support both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the 2020 elections. The details of this most recent round of interference have not yet been released. Nevertheless, it is important to begin to consider how the black community and other communities of color may be targeted in the Kremlin’s new slew of disinformation campaigns.”
Associated Press: Twitter, Facebook fined for not moving user data to Russia. “A court in Moscow fined Twitter and Facebook 4 million rubles each Thursday for refusing to store the personal data of Russian citizens on servers in Russia, the largest penalties imposed on Western technology companies under internet use laws.” Three million rubles is a little under $63,000 USD.
New York Times: He Combs the Web for Russian Bots. That Makes Him a Target.. “For the last five years, Mr. [Ben] Nimmo, a founder of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, has been a leader of a small but growing community of online sleuths. These researchers serve as an informal internet police force that combats malicious attempts to use false information to sway public opinion, sow political discord and foment distrust in traditional institutions like the news media and the government.”