Until July 2020, Ruslan Ostashko is said to be making $ 15,000 a month to publish Kremlin ads on YouTube.
But then YouTube “created a demon” with its channel, Politussia, to stop it from getting a share of its advertising from its video footage. After trying to appeal the decision, he was told he had to go to the US.
Ostashko laments: “We have had a hard time with the western social network. “Our main platform is YouTube and we’ve been burdening money for almost two years now.” In response, Politussia will now request readers’ contributions at the end of each video.
Since 2017, major western media companies have tried to tighten their stance on the media and disrupt information on their platforms. Facebook has removed more than 6,000 Russian accounts, pages and groups linked to Russia on its main page and Instagram at the time. Twitter has banned more than 5,000 Russian accounts since 2018 and YouTube has reportedly removed more than 2m Russian videos since 2019.
Much of the accounting information was linked to the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-backed group accused of using media tactics to try to publicize the results of the 2016 US presidential election, or to GRU, a Russian military spy.
In response, Russian lies and experiments have helped find a place to sell, says Vasily Gatov, a guest at the Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism.
“You never know when Facebook will decide to remove something,” he said. Now they have stopped using social networking sites and have started talking to others. ”
Researchers at Cardiff University found that readers responding to western media outlets such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Fox News and Der Spiegel are also being used by false publishers, who later point to pro-Kremlin comments as evidence of sympathy for the Russian government in the West.
The comments are being used as a basis for good news in Russian newspapers, such as the SMI.ru website, with headlines such as “Fox News Readers: Russians are not afraid of anyone” and “German readers: Russians should be one step ahead of Nato.”
InoSMI.ru is a social networking site that translates Russian foreign news and its interests abroad, to Russian-speaking audiences in Russia and Eastern Europe. It is part of Rossiya Segodnya, a Russian-owned media company. It has about 270,000 visits per day and from February to April 2021, more than two-thirds of his posts followed the slogan of “readers think”.
Its contents are also published by major European web sites across Europe, such as Politussia and the Patriot Media Group, an organization made up of Evgenii Prigozhin, who has been challenged by the US Supreme Court for plotting to overthrow the 2016 US presidential election.
Ostashko, who uses the comments of his developers, said: “We often use your readers’ comments as evidence that white people understand us and that our politics are better than those of your politicians and journalists.”
Professor Martin Innes, dean of Cardiff’s Crime and Security Research Institute, said western journalists were being threatened because of their “insecurity and lack of security”.
After conducting an “input test” of the top 18 research centers around the world in the UK, US, France and Germany researchers found that no one was researching, online pseudonyms could be easily modified and that there was a “little need to monitor”.
According to Peter Pomerantsev, a colleague at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the article helps to explain more about Russia’s geographical location in the world.
“The big issue with Russia’s lies is that there is no other way for Putin,” he said. “The aim is to show that white people are hypocritical, unhappy or full of Putin’s supporters. It may seem like a small business, but it is part of a larger and more stable investment. ”
Other anti-ban experiments advertised on social media include the use of so-called glasses, new websites that are not on the blacklist and that re-post the releases.
Newsfront, a website launched in 2014 during the Crimean invasion, and he explained by the US government department as part of a series of pages “increasingly spreading Russian and false news”, have been he found using glasses to spread his writing on entertainment.
Clint Watts, who is not a member of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and co-author of the report, said: “I think what is interesting is the importance of their viewing of social media. We work almost every week.”
Facebook said it had not been able to respond to the number of glasses found on the site, but also said that “protesters” are changing the system in response to pressure and that it is changing its security in response.
Last week the company said Reuters that it has begun to use methods used to block fake account networks to deal with user account networks that are committing “evils that occur in the community”. In July Facebook used these methods to remove real accounts related to the Vietnamese military’s military intelligence service.
The banned site also uses bloggers who appear to be independent to pick up and post articles on their feeds, as well as post their posts on other platforms such as Reddit, Parler and Telegram and hopefully be able to post on major platforms.
“It’s very difficult for a TV station to be a police force, because if someone writes something about their food, is it a Russian player? Probably not,” Watts said.
Konstantin Knyrik, a Kremlin freedom fighter and editor-in-chief of Newsfront, said this was inconsistent: “Most of our perpetrators are not journalists, but ordinary people with beliefs, who follow us and share our weapons freely.”
Reddit said its policy prohibits word-of-mouth transmission and has taken steps to prevent sales and sponsors on its platform “for many years”. Meanwhile, Ostanko said he was ready for YouTube to do the same.
“We’ve already set up a whole radio station on YouTube, so we have a choice if they want to cancel our channel again. No one can take away our freedom of speech.”