Accuracy in Media

NBC News continued to push the media narrative of Russian interference in the 2020 presidential elections, which is primarily based on disinformation on social media and online news.

Its latest article, headlined, “Russian web trolls boo Biden, often boost Gabbard, report finds,” cited a Foreign Policy Research Institute study which analyzed social media and state-run Russian news outlets for possible election interference in the 2020 presidential election cycle. The study claimed that the Russian propaganda machine supports the candidacy of Hawaiian congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D) while attacking perceived frontrunner and former vice president Joe Biden.

The study said that Russian propaganda outlets’ mentions were 46 percent favorable towards Gabbard, with 44 percent unfavorable, while Biden had 3 percent favorable mentions compared to 53 percent unfavorable mentions. Gabbard was the sole Democratic Party candidate whose favorable mentions outnumbered unfavorable mentions, according to the study.

The article then claimed, “For Russia thus far, Biden is to 2020 what Hillary Clinton was to 2016, the researchers found.”

Despite the salacious nature of the study’s claims, Russian election interference in 2016 was primarily due to disinformation. Disinformation is a tactic used by countries as a part of information warfare in order to stoke unrest or uncertainty in a target country, but it is not election interference, contrary to the mainstream media’s claims. Election interference would technically be changing votes and other similar physical examples, but not disinformation. It appears Russia is using the same disinformation tactics to throw confusion into the Democratic Party primaries in 2020.

Since Trump’s election in 2016, the mainstream media clung to the narrative that he won due to Russian election interference, when it was a disinformation campaign from Russia, without actual election interference such as changing votes and other actions that would affect polling stations and voters. NBC News’s latest article is yet another example of the media’s obsession with Russia, while the American public is more concerned with other topics and issues in the 2020 campaign cycle.

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