Preferences for one candidate or the other in 2020 have been critical to understanding any foreign interference efforts in the lead-up to November—and for understanding potential influence efforts post-Election Day.
Coverage of the protests across the U.S. in RT and Sputnik indicate an attempt by Kremlin media to amplify instances of protest-related violence to portray America as chaotic and politically unstable with out-of-control elected leaders.
Sputnik News’s “Viral” vertical focuses on social media reaction and discussion. Drawing eyeballs to eye-catching content, the “Viral” section may help Sputnik bolster its American readership on topics of greater consequence.
Amid the 2020 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Russian state-sponsored news outlets RT and Sputnik News published a number of stories and opinion pieces covering both conventions. RT portrayed the DNC and former Vice President Biden especially negatively, while Sputnik News coverage was more mixed.
In the past decade, Twitter has transformed from simply a social media platform to a key access point for news for millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. State-sponsored media outlets have also used the platform to speak with American audiences. FIE 2020 discusses RT, Sputnik, PressTV and Global Times Twitter activity surrounding U.S. election integrity.
Foreign state-sponsored media outlets published a number of stories mentioning Senator Kamala Harris in light of former Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement on August 11 that the senator would be his running mate in the 2020 election, many of them painting Harris negatively.
As election season heats up this summer and into the fall, the peddlers of disinformation—foreign and domestic—have never had so much conspiracy to use in pitting the American electorate against itself.
Russian state-sponsored media outlets RT and Sputnik News have ramped up their criticisms of American tech and social media giants for alleged censorship on their platforms, portraying efforts aimed at combating misinformation as a means to pursue a political agenda.