Moscow, Europe Brief News – The Russian Tik Tok videos contain cats, puppies and pulsing backgrounds which hardly show any signs of content that support state propaganda.
In 2014, Russia took the Internet by storm with hundreds of fake accounts posting misinformation about its takeover of Crimea. The experts believe that Russia is trying to replicate those efforts but in a more sophisticated manner to win people’s support for its invasion.
State media outlets are pushing hard to separate the western audiences. Russia is sharing fake information to shape opinion and that strategy is working alright for Russians.
In a cat video, a husky puppy identified by a digitally inserted US flag swipes at the tail of a tabby identified as a Russian flag. The cat responds with a ferocious jab that sends the hapless dog scurrying.
The viewership of the video clip has reached 775,000 within two weeks and it was created by an account name Funrussianprezident. Most of its videos feature pro-Russian content.
Nina Jankowics, a disinformation researcher and expert at Wilson Center Washington said “ It could just be a patriotic Russian fighting the good fight as they see it or it could easily be something directly affiliated with the state”.
Rapid Increase in online activity
The experts around the world are experiencing a rapid increase in online activity groups affiliated with the Russian state. This could well be another strategy for the Russian government to stir up domestic support while an attempt to destabilise the western alliance.
Cyabra, an Israeli tech company that detects disinformation, said “Across the internet, there has been a rapid uptick in suspicious accounts spreading anti-Ukrainian content”.
Analysts at Cyabra tracked the number of Facebook and Twitter accounts that have recently posted about Ukraine. The data they gathered was showing a Dramatic rise In Anti-Ukrainian content in the days right before the invasion.
For example, On 14th February, the number of posts published on Anti-Ukrainian jumped drastically by 11,000% when compared to just days earlier. Analysts suggest that the bigger chunk of the accounts is fake and probably controlled by the Russian state.
Dan Brahmy, CEO Cyabra said, “When you see an 11,000% increase, you know something is going”.
Gen Micheal Lagata, Retired Army Lt. said “ Russia has placed cyberattacks in its invasion of Ukraine, while they pose a threat, online propaganda can leave even more lasting damage”.