X

New Spanish Language Disinformation Website Linked To Falun Gong

March 30th, 2021 16:31

The EU Dis­in­fo Lab is report­ing that Tierrapura.org, a new­ly found­ed Span­ish-lan­guage dis­in­for­ma­tion web­site, is linked to the Epoch Times ecosys­tem, itself linked to the Chi­nese Falun Gong move­ment. Accord­ing to the EU Dis­in­fo Lab inves­ti­ga­tion:

Feb­ru­ary 10, 2021 Tierrapura.org appeared in Argenti­na at the end of March 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, claim­ing to gath­er a “group of con­cerned cit­i­zens” that pro­vides “real­ly impor­tant infor­ma­tion” that was “being hid­den (…) due to the manip­u­la­tion of the com­mu­nist regime in Chi­na”, as stat­ed in its web­site. Rapid­ly, Tier­ra Pura was flagged by sev­er­al fact-check­ers for spread­ing health dis­in­for­ma­tion in Span­ish. In this report, the EU Dis­in­fo­Lab expos­es how the web­site “tierrapura.org” is in fact a par­ti­san out­let with links to the Falun Gong, a reli­gious group that is per­se­cut­ed by the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment and is antag­o­nis­tic to China’s Com­mu­nist Par­ty. Tier­ra Pura is reg­u­lar­ly dis­sem­i­nat­ing con­tent in Span­ish and Por­tuguese lan­guages from media out­lets con­nect­ed to the Epoch Media Group, a well-known actor in the dis­in­for­ma­tion field, as well as oth­er insti­tu­tions and out­lets linked to the Falun Gong ecosys­tem and oth­er alter­na­tive media with dubi­ous credibility.

Read the full report here.

The report notes that in addi­tion to re-pub­lish­ing arti­cles from the Epoch Times Group, Tier­ra Pura works as an aggre­ga­tor of pub­li­ca­tions from oth­er sources of dubi­ous cred­i­bil­i­ty com­ing from the Unit­ed States, Latin Amer­i­ca, Spain, and oth­er countries.

In its About sec­tion, Tier­ra Pura open­ly dis­clos­es that the website’s objec­tive is to denounce the “manip­u­la­tion of the com­mu­nist regime in Chi­na” regard­ing COVID-19, which Tier­ra Pura calls the “CCP virus.” The web­site has also pub­lished dis­in­for­ma­tion about COVID-19, such as claim­ing Span­ish politi­cians “recov­ered from CCP pneu­mo­nia short­ly after they strong­ly con­demned the CCP” and has recent­ly start­ed to dis­sem­i­nate QAnon con­spir­a­cy theories.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed in March about a US media oper­a­tion asso­ci­at­ed with the Falun Gong move­ment that appears to be con­nect­ed to sev­er­al new social media web­sites spread­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion aimed at sup­port­ing the US rightwing. Oth­er GIOR report­ing on the Epoch Times has included:

  • In Novem­ber 2020, we rec­om­mend­ed a New York Times arti­cle detail­ing how the Epoch Times has devel­oped its influ­ence operations.
  • In Octo­ber 2020, we report­ed that the Epoch Times had spread a num­ber of pro-Trump con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and that Face­book had removed many Falun Gong move­ment accounts from a dig­i­tal media out­let linked to The Epoch Times.