FAKE NEWS | How The Atlantic Council Promoted Anti Russian Propaganda

in #news6 years ago


Shortly after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential race a small and obscure website popped up claiming to be an authority on Russian propaganda. Ironically, their aim was to disseminate, analyze, flag any news stories or publications it thought was Russian propaganda, and compile an official list of propaganda websites. Initially, when PropOrNot first came online nobody paid much attention to it, this was until a reporter from the Washington Post picked up on the story.

Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say | Washington Post - 11/24/2016

The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

The article was littered with assumptions and speculations from unverified sources at PropOrNot. In the WaPo article the author states that the executive director of PropOrNot spoke to the WaPo on the condition of anonymity to "avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers". This was the first red flag at the time. If an organization like this wants to be taken seriously then they need to have some public figures on the face of it. Yet this did little to stop the WAPo from posting this article. The Intercept even called them out for it at the time.


So, who's behind this poor attempt at shaping the narrative. Over the last week 2 independent researchers have both published their findings online. These 2 bits of research were both attempting to identify the clandestine group behind Prop or Not. The first bit of research was done using data forensics to identify the owners, and the second used linguistic analysis. Both pieces of research independently came to the conclusion that the main man behind Prop or Not is Atlantic Councils, Michael Weiss.

Michael Weiss is an author, the senior editor for The Daily Beast, a columnist for Foreign Policy, and a frequent national security contributor for CNN. He’s also editor-in-chief of The Interpreter, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and co-chair of the Russia Studies Center at the Henry Jackson Society.

The Interpreter website, once funded by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, is a crucial link in this puzzle. One of the researchers used a pen testing tool called Iron Wasp that allows you to passively scan websites for vulnerabilities. The scan of PropOrNot website showed that the admin dashboard belonged to www.interpretermag.com. (I have not independently verified this scan yet)


As we can see from the headers on the Interpretermag.com the website is funded by the Atlantic Council.


He we confirm Michael Weiss is a fellow at the Atlantic Council.


Assuming that the passive scan of PropOrNot.com turns out to be correct then with the other evidence that links him to the Atlantic Council I believe it's enough to prove Michael Weiss was very likely behind this failed propaganda project. The evidence doesn't stop here though. Another online researcher analyzed and compared the linguistics of the tweets from both Michael Weiss and PropOrNot Twitter accounts.

Forensic linguistics

Now, for the Mindhunter-inspired moment you’ve all been waiting for: the forensic linguistic analysis. Drumroll aside, it’s simple. Both PropOrNot and Michael Weiss have a strange, idiosyncratic go-to retort when they’re responding to an argument they don’t like: “cute.” OK, you might say, lots of people say “cute.” But look at your own Twitter feed. Look at other people’s. Does anyone say “cute” as much as Michael Weiss and PropOrNot? This, by the way, is only a fraction of the tweets (I literally only stopped because I got tired of cutting-and-pasting; there are hundreds more examples). Search yourself!


The irony of this project is astounding. For over a year this group has been attempting to spread anti-Russian propaganda, not in a bit to fight Russian propaganda, but to try and remove Trump from power. Hopefully with these new pieces of research they may think twice about pulling the same trick again on the American public. You can find the full breakdown and analysis of both pieces of research (including the tweet links), here and here.



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Nice research @fortified
I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find out eventually that this finds it way back to Clinton/Soros/DNC.
The pathetic attempts to ramp up the fear regarding Russia is ill advised and dangerous. Surely by now enough people know that the Russia narrative is total bullshit.
I believe the only way Trump is leaving is after 8 years in office or in a pine box. They won't get him out trying this Russia crap.
Hopefully behind the scenes he's going after the scum that are trying to take him down, if not he'd better get a bloody move on!

Ha yes. I hope so to.

The Russian story is still very much on a lot of peoples minds. You just need to look at all the snowflakes and pussyhats on twitter. tbh I'm not sure they will ever change their minds. I can see this going on until Trump finally retires, or as you said, leaves in a pine box.

The news networks and Internet shills are bad enough but it's the subtle and not so subtle message coming out of Hollywood and on TV shows that are helping to shape the narrative. The bad guys are always Russians!
If not they're diabolical Brits, I don't mind that though.
As a nation we have been the bad guy for so long we kinda don't mind when we're portrayed as high end caddish criminals 😃
The Russians tend to be portrayed as a more despicable low end street scum which is pretty unfair. Especially when you consider the scum sitting in congress and the senate!

I was just telling someone about this blaming the russian thing with "fake news" may actually be tied back to the dems and probably Hitlery.
And here, I find a solid connection waiting for me on steemit.

Ha, yes when it goes this deep it all circles back to the deepstate.

Excellent piece! I'm really amazed because I wrote about this exact same subject a couple of months ago. You MUST take a look a it:


I follow basically the same leads: CFR/ Atlantic Council; going through the same channels: WaPo/ Propornot... But I dig a bit deeper ehem into the WaPo journalist who brought Propornot to public light, he is also related to CFR... the circle closes. I also analyze the 2 congressmen who made a speech regarding this issue for the Atlantic Council months before the Fake News "scandal" started, hence the name of the 3rd article, below.

Part 2:


I give it a different interpretation to the whole issue. I disagree when you call it a "failed propaganda project", as I explain in the articles copied, the Propornot fiasco is just a part of a bigger scheme to bring the whole concept of "fake news" to the frontpage... being the final result the "soft-censoring" of many independent media by lobbying Facebook and Google into demonetization and outright censorship for certain media, or suddenly coming out in the 4th page of a google search, where nobody will find you, etc.

Anyway... I'm quoting you in a future article since I was missing that info on Propornot's behind the scene manager.

I started with this subject first in this article for www.antiwar.com:


Thank you. Will do. I'll get back to you.

Almost every truth about Russia is anti-Russian propaganda.
And then Russia does the same with RT.

Do you watch RT?

People use RT excerpts in their channels.
Being a seasoned source of fake news, RT know how to mix truth with their agenda, and how to censor any truth about Putin's regime.
RT is almost impossible to avoid.

Have YOU actually taken the time to watch RT though?

I think you are mistaking Anti American news for propaganda. They don't need to make things up. The US is corrupt as fuck.

Whenever I watched RT, it sneaked on me via independent/proxy channels.
Why would I watch FSB propaganda?
Whenever I have to pick, I almost always pick the CIA.

Whatever the US does, Russia does the same or worse.
Drug trafficking, political assassinations, political arrests, support of terror, proxy regimes, imperialism.

You like most observe the bad and ignore the worse.
You and your likes are signs of FSB's propaganda's success.

So you've never taken the time to watch it, yet you call it FSB propaganda? OK

The CIA are the worst.

You and your likes are signs of FSB's propaganda's success.

Or maybe me and my likes are just awake and can see through the "Russia hacked the election" bs.

You are being played with. I do hope you wake up one day for your own sake.
Peace out.

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Excellent and "cute" post @fortified. :) My site Clarity of Signal was also caught up in the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Labs pathetic analysis and articles last year when they tried to conflate deceptive narratives. I left them a comment in their Medium page comment section linked here. Seems they could have simply checked me out on Facebook to determine that I was not actually who they were attempting to portray me as. Alas, their agenda was quite obvious and many people saw through it at the time.

Link here to their slanderous piece. My lengthy response is in their comment section.


Michael Weiss and company also recently grave danced all over the death of Robert Parry. That on its own deserves us going after them and exposing them with even more determination. They are truly scummy people.


Sorry to here that. Yes what they said about Parry was totally immature. They just think it's all a game.

Thanks for the "cute" link.

Great response to the Medium article.

Thanks. Want to point out also that is great to see posts like yours here that help people understand the truth bout what really took place and dissect how the misinformation was thrust upon the public by these nefarious characters. All the bad that Michael Weiss and company have done seems to be coming back to haunt them, rather quickly I might add. I'm a patient guy and willing to wait for the truth to see the light of day, but posts like yours and others at Steemit are helping to bring the truth around sooner then I expected. Glad to see it.

Hey, these are some extremely kind words. Thank you. Just doing the little bit that I can to spread the truth.

Shared on White Helmets Exposed. Excellent Steemit Post Exposing Michael Weiss of the Daily Beast - FAKE NEWS | How The Atlantic Council Promoted Anti Russian Propaganda
Link here:

WhiteHelmetsEXP WhiteHelmetsExposed tweeted @ 06 Feb 2018 - 02:05 UTC

Excellent Steemit Post Exposing Michael Weiss of the Daily Beast - FAKE NEWS | How The Atlantic Council Promoted An… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.

great article, thank you for pulling so many pieces together. it seems unfortunate that a bucket of proof and a wheel-barrow full of knowledge doesn't change a clouded mind.

it seems unfortunate that a bucket of proof and a wheel-barrow full of knowledge doesn't change a clouded mind.

I love this. So true. Thanks for your supportive comment.

the people clamoring for punishment to be doled out against russia for the specious claims of our oxymoronically-named intelligence community are the same sort of people that supported the internment of american citizens of japanese descent. the senate committee has stated that anyone of 'russian nationality or russian descent' is relevant to their investigation into russian interference in the u.s. political system. this is absolutely pathetic, and absolutely un-american.

You are indeed fortified, what a detailed work, you should be an FBI.

lol. No way. (but I know what you mean) :)

Great post @fortified!

The formation of this ProporNot group screamed bullshit right from the get-go. Excellent job of exposing these so-called crusaders and arbiters of truth.

Their goal was to censor non-establishment views they found as threatening and if they really went after propaganda they would have identified CNN, Fox, NBC, NY Times, WaPo and a whole sleugh of legacy/corporate media outlets who push war propaganda, invasion and lies on a daily basis.

Great research as always, and to finally see your work on the trending page!

Hey. Yes, it's funny to think that they actually thought this was a good idea. Got to love the internet. Trending page, Nice.

Nice research. thanks for sharing.

It gets harder and harder to discern real news and fake news in our time.

Indeed. You literally can't take your eye off the ball these days.

Nice addition to what we now know about domestic US information operations . . .

The puzzle is slowly coming together.

Thank you for sharing this. Propornot is awful.

They are a joke. Like they thought they could get away with this kind of stuff in this day and age.

to look for a message of truth is very difficult, sometimes the media has been ruled by a certain person for an image or perhaps for a propaganda. indeed if you've entered in the political world is difficult to digest the truth of a news

There is a lot to take in and a lot of cognitive dissonance to overcome before you can really know the truth. Knowing the players involved and their history is a good starting point.

Thanks. Hope you find the truth you are looking for. :)

Fake news everywhere ^^ The world is really changing

Exciting times. Make sure you keep up. Don't want you to be left behind.

Nice post, I love politics , thanks for sharing.

Thanks. No problem.

I'm finding all kinds of information about the Atlantic Council:
~~~ embed:959142607778734080?ref_src=twcamp%5Ecopy%7Ctwsrc%5Eandroid%7Ctwgr%5Ecopy%7Ctwcon%5E7090%7Ctwterm%5E1 twitter metadata:aGFsb2VmZWt0aXx8aHR0cHM6Ly90d2l0dGVyLmNvbS9oYWxvZWZla3RpL3N0YXR1cy85NTkxNDI2MDc3Nzg3MzQwODB8 ~~~

haloefekti Citizen Halo 🇫🇮🐦 tweeted @ 01 Feb 2018 - 19:13 UTC

Atlantic Council, who pays Bellingcat's couch potato Higgins, is Nato's political arm. Qatar based think tank promo… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.

My Twitter buddy is in a Twitter fight with an Atlantic Council guy right now. Lol. ~~~ embed:960262438758203392?ref_src=twcamp%5Ecopy%7Ctwsrc%5Eandroid%7Ctwgr%5Ecopy%7Ctwcon%5E7090%7Ctwterm%5E1 twitter metadata:VmVudHVja3lzcGF6fHxodHRwczovL3R3aXR0ZXIuY29tL1ZlbnR1Y2t5c3Bhei9zdGF0dXMvOTYwMjYyNDM4NzU4MjAzMzkyfA== ~~~

Ha. Yes they have been a corrupt globalist think tank for years. Dangerous people in high positions.

Ventuckyspaz Currie Dobson tweeted @ 04 Feb 2018 - 21:23 UTC

@firasabdullah_ and @EliotHiggins are nasty horrible war monger criminals. Shame on both of these people. You want… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.

We must put an end to fake news propaganda

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Good post, I really liked your post

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I believe the only way Trump is leaving is after 8 years in office or in a pine box. They won't get him out trying this Russia crap. we now know about domestic US information operations .

Nice post

I always thought it was interesting how aggressive a stance Hillary seemed to have towards Russia before the election and, unless I'm remembering incorrectly, she had an anti-Russia stance even before the email leaks. It seemed to be a clear agenda that she intended to work with after her presumed victory to become the POTUS and they've been in damage control ever since, shifting the blame to Trump/GOP.

Your summary is spot on. Russia is just an excuse for hRC losing.

The saddest and most maddening thing about this anti-Russia narrative is that every year here in the UK (and the US as well I presume?) we are flooded with programs about WW2. Mostly they are about the daring operations that "turned the tide" of war, or the heroism of the troops. There is no doubt they were brave men and deserve the praise and gratitude of the nation. But there is also a bias, there are a lot of programs about the US soldiers and even the German soldiers and yet there are so few about the Russian war effort.

If you actually studied the war, even casually you would discover that it was Russia that was pivotal in the victory in Europe, at the cost of 26 million dead. We have just had the 75th aniversary of the battle of Stalingrad where over a million died and the cream of the German forces were defeated. And what do we hear from the media? Pretty much nothing. You would have expected a week of "special" documentaries, no?

Perhaps we will see a greater representation this year around June. I for one would be very pleasantly surprised, but will keep my expectations low. ANd maybe one day there will even be acknowledgement of the 20 million Chinese lost under Japanese occupation...

La propaganda es una forma de manipular a las personas y viene de todos los lados, incluso hay una teoría que se conoce como la guerra híbrida que existe y es entre las potencias de Rusia y EEUU y se consideraría esta guerra híbrida como la nueva guerra fría. La guerra híbrida en esencia es la intoxicación de información con desinformación que son las conocidas fake news.