WASHINGTON (TIP): Russia had a hand in spreading fake news to millions of Americans during the election cycle, according to two independent research groups, PropOrNot and Foreign Policy Research Institute.
The Washington Post was the first media outlet to report PropOrNot’s findings that there are over 200 websites described as “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans.” The most recognizable names on the list of “sites that reliably echo Russian propaganda” include Alex Jones’ Infowars, Julian Assange’s Wikileaks and Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report. Others include The Federalist Papers, Zero Hedge, the Free Thought Project and USA Politics Now.
PropOrNot wrote, “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.”.