The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK think tank, reported last November that News Front, a pro-Russian disinformation outlet subject to US sanctions and banned from Facebook, has managed to resume many of its activities on Facebook. According to an ISD report:
November 23, 2021 ISD’s recent investigation into pro-Russian disinformation reveals that News Front, a well-known propaganda outlet subject to US sanctions and supposedly banned from Facebook, has been able to resume many of its operations on the platform. Strikingly, News Front has done this without any significant changes in their tactics. This raises questions about how meaningful Facebook’s bans really are, and whether Facebook’s ongoing efforts to enforce its own policies are working. […]
ISD’s most recent report, ‘What’s new (and What’s not) with News Front’, now reveals that News Front has simply shifted to sharing links to novedad-news.info, continuing to operate more or less exactly as before. The same is true for most of the other languages in which News Front publishes, using a total of eight mirror domains. Based on CrowdTangle data, ISD found that between 1st January 2021 to 11th July 2021, links to these eight mirror domains were shared 6,423 times on Facebook. Notably, while mirror domains exist for English and German language content, these did not appear to be being publicly shared on Facebook at the time of analysis.
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The full ISD report here.
In April, we reported that News Front was among a number of Russia-linked media outlets designated by the US over disinformation efforts and interference in the presidential elections. In August, the GIOR published an exclusive investigation into a Russian disinformation campaign spreading “the Great Reset” conspiracy theory in the West in which News Front played an instrumental part. According to the GIOR investigation:
August 30, 2021 News Front, identified by the US as a multi-language propaganda outlet directed by Russia’s federal security service, published several articles claiming “the Great Reset” is a global agenda that will lead to a centralized technocratic rule with lower living standards and fewer civil rights and that people will be implemented chips that can read their mind. According to one article, “it is not a ‘conspiracy theory’ if they openly tell you what they want to do.” Another News Front article from February claimed that the new US administration fully supports the plans for the “great reset” that could have been prevented by Donald Trump while it was clear that Vladimir Putin would say firm ‘no’ to these plans.
Read the full GIOR investigation here.