Comparative Politics

Data Analysis of Russian Disinformation Supply Chains: Finding Propaganda in the U.S. Media Ecosystem in Real Time



This paper uses artificial intelligence to identify a Russian disinformation narrative and track it to its original sources online. This project, using online content that is collected and categorized by the VAST (Veracity Authentication Systems Technology) OSINT system, identifies and analyzes content associated with Russian propaganda with strategic narrative insights. We use the example of accusations of Nazism in Ukraine, specifically related to the Ukrainian Azov regiment, to demonstrate how different stories within this propaganda narrative appear on far-right U.S. websites. At the same time, our study shows little engagement with these stories in the mainstream U.S. media. This paper demonstrates how to scale human content analysis by using artificial intelligence to analyze how foreign propaganda penetrates the U.S. media ecosystem. Using this technology, we can identify disinformation ‘supply chains’ and hopefully disrupt this supply more effectively than we have in the past.


Thumbnail image of Oates Lee Knickerbocker APSA 2022 Russian Disinformation Supply Chains Sept 14.pdf


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