The List — November 09, 2016
An Initial Set of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda
We have used a combination of manual and automated analysis, including analysis of content, timing, technical indicators, and other reporting, in order to initially identify (“red-flag”) the following as Russian propaganda outlets. We then confirmed our initial assessment by applying whatever criteria we did not originally employ during the red-flag process, and we reevaluate our findings as needed.
Please note that our criteria are behavioral. That means the characteristics of the propaganda outlets we identify are motivation-agnostic. For purposes of this definition it does not matter whether the sites listed here are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point: If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as bona-fide “useful idiots” of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny.
We assess that this overall Russian effort is at least semi-centralized, with multiple Russian projects and influence operations working in parallel to manage the direct and outsourced production of propaganda across a wide range of outlets. It is data-driven, and rewards effective entrepreneurship and innovation with increased funding and other resources. There are varying degrees of involvement in it, and awareness of involvement. Some people involved seem genuinely unaware that they are being used by Russia to produce propaganda, but many others seem to know full well.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
More detailed analysis is ongoing: