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“Texts” established the rating of manipulative “trash” online media

03 December 2018

“Texts” created a deep neural network and made it to reveal manipulative news in the information flow.  Using this tool, analysts made a rating of manipulative websites from the so-called "third echelon", or, to put it in another way - "trashcans".

Cumulatively such websites collect more than 50 million visits per month, and this is the audience of several hundred thousand people every day. For comparison, "Ukrainian Truth", according to the data of SimilarWeb, collects 15 million visits. These trash publications are a nourishing environment for the Russian propaganda. Everything is bought and sold here, and quite often there are absolutely wild explanations of what is happening.

The largest part of content (more than half of all messages from this sample) determined through our algorithm as “manipulative news”, is dedicted to Ukraine as such. The main messages are the “favorite songs” of the Russian propaganda: “a failed country”, “a country that does not exist”, “a failed state”. “In the Ukraine” everything is very bad, catastrophes and failures only that have happened or are just about to happen, problems inside and outside, etc.

This is an important component of the information war: such news are needed for Russia to bring us all in the state of  pathy, an inability to make decisions and to act.

In 2017, "Texts" made a list of relatively little-known websites that published anti-Ukrainian or pro-Russian propaganda materials. The list included about 150 such websites, and of course, this list is far from being exhaustive. They became the subject of our study. During the time perion of one year (the duration of the study) several of them were closed or changed their website addresses, while some of them completely duplicate each other’s content.

Read the full study here, see the rating and interactive graphics here

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