Comparative Politics

Sharing a Playbook?: The Convergence of Russian and U.S. Narratives about Joe Biden



This paper combines human coding and artificial intelligence to compare Russian propaganda narratives with discussion of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden in social and mainstream media in the United States in summer 2020. The research found the presence of the same narratives across Russian English-language outlets, Fox News, rightwing websites, and leftwing Twitter. The research found a particularly strong convergence between the use of Biden attack narratives on Russian English-language sites such as RT and Sputnik with Fox News coverage. Across all these outlets, there was much discussion that Biden was corrupt, too old, a sexual deviant, and a placeholder for leftist conspiracy. All the sources aside from rightwing Twitter highlighted that Biden was also the frontrunner in the presidential race. The analysis was carried out by the MarvelousAI StoryArc system, which measures news narratives by combining human coding, natural language processing, and machine learning


Thumbnail image of APSA 2020 Russian and US Narratives about Biden Oates et al PDF.pdf


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