Slawomir Mentzen, co-leader of Confederation far right political alliance, delivers his speech during the final day of campaigning for the parliamentary elections in Rzeszow, Poland, October 13, 2023. (Source: Patryk Ogorzalek/Agencja via Reuters)

Thu, Dec 7, 2023

Deceptive marketing ads used fake images of Polish politician

Digitally altered photos deployed as clickbait in Facebook ads drew users to promotional campaign for sketchy cryptocurrency operation

by Givi Gigitashvili, Iain Robertson

Business Central Europe

Thu, Jun 29, 2023

Why Wagner’s “Telegram mutiny” remains a dilemma for the Kremlin

Hugely popular in Russia, Telegram has mostly avoided Kremlin internet restrictions - for now

by Eto Buziashvili, Iria Puyosa

Business Government
Twitter CEO Elon Musk. (Source: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Fri, Apr 21, 2023

State-controlled media experience sudden Twitter gains after unannounced platform policy change

Twitter accounts run by Russia’s RT, China’s CGTN and Iran’s PressTV suddenly began to gain followers; Twitter acknowledged a change in policy regarding state media accounts three weeks later

by Alyssa Kann

Business China
Participants walk past a screen displaying the RUTUBE logo at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia ,June 17, 2022. (Source: Reuters/Anton Vaganov)

Mon, Jan 30, 2023

How Russian YouTube copycat RUTUBE promotes pro-Kremlin narratives

RUTUBE’s mix of Kremlin narratives and entertainment has seen a surge of referral traffic since Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

Business Disinformation

Wed, Oct 19, 2022

Footage raises additional questions about Wagner presence in Sudan

Videos allegedly show Wagner personnel training Sudanese Army and RSF paramilitary forces.

by Tessa Knight, Mattia Caniglia, Ruslan Trad

Africa Business
A network map of tweets containing the phrase #istandwithputin or istandwithputin between February 23, 2022 and March 4, 2022.

Thu, Mar 10, 2022

IStandWithPutin hashtag trends amid dubious amplification efforts

Over the week of February 28, 2022, the hashtag #IStandWithPutin trended in several regions, but a deeper look at the origin and amplification of the hashtag suggested this support was artificial.

by Jean le Roux

Africa Botnets
The War on Fakes Telegram channel (left) uses common fact-checking tropes, such as stamping images with the word “FAKE” in large red letters (right) to convey a sense of legitimacy.

Mon, Mar 7, 2022

Russian Telegram channel embraces fact-checking tropes to spread disinformation

The War on Fakes Telegram channel pushes false and misleading content in defense of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

by Ingrid Dickinson

Business Conflict
Then-German Navy Chief Kay-Achim Schönbach (left) visits Lieutenant General Chandi Prasad Mohanty (right) during his January 2022 visit to New Delhi, India. Schönbach resigned on January 22, after arguing at an event during his visit that Putin deserves respect and Kyiv will never win back annexed Crimea.

Fri, Feb 4, 2022

Kremlin outlets exploit suspicious user comments on German Navy chief’s resignation

Outlets cited suspicious comments giving the impression they represented broader German public opinion.

by Eto Buziashvili, Max Rizzuto

Business Disinformation
A man holds the Ethiopian national flag in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square during a pro-government rally to denounce what the organizers say is the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Western countries’ interference in internal affairs of the country, November 7, 2021.

Thu, Jan 13, 2022

Twitter’s Ethiopian interventions may not have worked

Twitter’s decision to deactivate trending topics in Ethiopia did not reduce the volume or toxicity of tweets about the civil war.

by Tessa Knight

Africa Business
“RENT A FB ACCOUNT AND EARN FROM IT… Make good use of your Facebook account!”

Thu, Dec 16, 2021

Ukrainian Facebook account-renting scheme migrates to TikTok and Telegram

Ukrainian TikTok, Telegram, and Instagram accounts offer easy money to Facebook users willing to rent their accounts for advertising.

by Roman Osadchuk

Advertising BuiltWIth
DFRLab Democracy + Tech Initiative Director Rose Jackson testifies before the US Senate, December 9, 2021.

Thu, Dec 9, 2021

Written testimony of DFRLab’s Rose Jackson at Senate hearing on disrupting dangerous algorithms

Delivered before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband.

by Digital Forensic Research Lab

Business Digital Policy
RT DE logo as seen on its Facebook page.

Wed, Nov 24, 2021

How RT DE spread COVID misinformation on YouTube

YouTube banned RT DE in September 2021 after the Russian network revived an old channel to avoid an initial suspension.

by Givi Gigitashvili, Jean le Roux

Business Buzzsumo