Monday, November 18, 2019

New White Paper: Russia's Use of Pseudo-Think Tanks

The Stanford Internet Observatory has just published a new white paper on the online operations of the GRU, the main military foreign-intelligence service of Russia, highlighting pseudo-think tanks and personas.

Here is a clip from the report:

The GRU narrative strategy also involved the creation of think tanks and “alternative news” sites to serve as initial content drops, from which the content was syndicated or republished on other sites. These think tanks and media sites relied on personas —fake online identities that persist over time, or across multiple platforms, and attempt to create a perception that the person behind the identity is real—who served as both bylined authors for the GRU’s own fabricated media properties and “freelancers” who could inject the narrative into other publications under the guise of contributing authors. The content-creator personas served as both authors and amplifiers, often cross-promoting each other’s articles. In addition, we found a network of highly suspicious, likely fabricated accounts who were involved in the distribution of the content on other social platforms, including Twitter and Reddit.

Here is a recent Think Tank Watch post about a new think tank helping Russia gain influence in Africa.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch piece on the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), a think tank that has been accused of trying to sway the 2016 US presidential election.

Here is a piece on deepfake think tank scholars.