The site has a “huge digital reach” despite Western sanctions, the EU branch of the US-based news site lamented.
The European newsroom at Politico, a Washington-based digital news site, appears alarmed by the online footprint of what it calls… “Kremlin-backed accounts” Especially those run by RT and Sputnik, which, according to them, have “High-volume digital access.”
Politico expressed veiled concern about the competition on Monday in a story about Russia’s alleged propaganda and use of conflict in the Middle East to promote anti-Western sentiment around the world.
“Collectively, these companies boast millions of followers in Europe, Latin America and Africa, despite the European Union imposing sanctions on their broadcast and social media operations.” The report noted, referring to the RT and Sputnik platforms.
The United States and its allies have been trying to undermine Russian messages for years. After the conflict in Ukraine escalated into open hostilities last year, Washington pressured RT’s sister channel in the US to shut down, while Brussels blocked social media outlets from showing RT posts to users in the European Union.
Earlier this month, Luxembourg’s Tagblatt newspaper urged tougher restrictions on Russian media, arguing that Europeans have numerous ways to bypass government censorship, resulting in “pro-Russian narratives” remaining popular among audiences.
Some Western officials have complained about Russian digital access as well. General Laura Richardson, commander of US Southern Command, said last month that Washington should do so “Be better” In the “Information field” In Latin America, where she believes more funding for pro-Western narratives is needed.
The Politico article was based largely on data on Russian online messaging provided by the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), the US think tank behind the infamous “Hamilton 68 Dashboard.” Launched in 2017, this digital tool claims to appear in real time “misinformation” They are being disseminated online by Moscow, based on the monitoring of an undisclosed set of social media accounts.
The tool was revealed to be fake by The Twitter Files, a series of leaks of internal Twitter (now X) documents authorized by Elon Musk, after he bought the company last year. Journalist Matt Taibbi reported reverse-engineering the secret list of about 600 people “Pro-Russian” The calculations he said were involved “Most of them are real accounts, and most of them are American accounts.” Western media reporting the claims made by ASD misrepresented them as “Russian robots.”
Hamilton 2.0 comes with a disclaimer that it would be incorrect to do so “Label anyone or anything that appears on the dashboard as being associated with state-supported propaganda.” Without additional analysis.