Disinformation campaign targets international media.

A disinformation campaign, potentially linked to the Russian troll factory, is targeting international media with fake posts and videos. The impact on citizens’ beliefs is uncertain due to pre-existing strong opinions on the subject.

Pro-Russian fabricated posts, hoax videos and tweets have circulated online, pretending to be issued by the BBC, CNN and DW. They mainly aim at spreading false claims and discrediting international media outlets. Exactly who is behind the fake posts and videos is not always straightforward to find out. However, experts suggest that much of the pro-Russian disinformation can be attributed to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian troll factory active since 2012. Whether this kind of campaign actually has a direct impact on citizens’ beliefs is questionable. Scott Radnitz, an associate professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington, explains that since people already have strong opinions about the war, they are more likely to consume news consistent with their views and will instinctively doubt conflicting claims and images.