Disinfo: Facebook and Twitter are controlled from a centre in the US

Summary

The centre which controls powerful social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, allowing them to manipulate public opinion, is located on the other side of the ocean.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming that the social networks (primarily Facebook and Twitter) are controlled from one centre on the other side of the ocean, in this case, in the USA. It is often claimed that the US uses social networks against Russia.

There is no evidence confirming that both Facebook and Twitter are controlled from one common centre. Facebook and Twitter are two separate independent organisations. Facebook was founded by a group of students from Harvard University in 2004, while Twitter was created in 2006 by former Google employees.

It is not the first time Twitter and Facebook are targeted by pro-Kremlin media sources. Read similar cases about Facebook and Google manipulating information to destroy Russia and Twitter censoring Russian media.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 220
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Azerbaijani
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: social media, Twitter, Facebook

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Germany Controls Alexei Navalny

Navalny is in control of the Germans, and whatever he does, from defending the Nord Stream 2 project to what he says to the Americans who don’t support him, is at the behest of Berlin.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory presented by Sputnik Azerbaijan and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the relationship between Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and Germany. There are no grounds to connect Germany with controlling Alexei Navalny. Alexei Navalny is the leader of Russia of the Future party and critic of the incumbent government of Russia. He is also founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. He fell ill during a flight on 20 August and at the request of his family, was transferred to Berlin to receive treatment.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that a substance similar to Novichok had been used to poison him. The European Union has condemned what seems to have been an attempt on Alexei Navalny's life and imposed sanctions on six senior Russian officials and a chemical research centre.

Crimea became Russian after the 2014 referendum

Crimea became a Russian republic after a referendum was held there in March 2014, when 96.77% of Crimean voters and 95.6% of Sevastopol residents voted to join Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014. The oft-cited figure of 97% has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum, of which some 50-60% favoured secession.

Estonia should not interfere in affairs of other countries

It is obvious that for Estonia, as a state, it would be much more useful to adhere to a more moderate line, without interfering in the affairs of other countries [as in the case of poisoning Alexei Navalny], since this brings nothing but problems for its inhabitants.

But since it is difficult to call Estonia’s foreign policy independent, one can only hope that the excessive zeal of local politicians will not become too destructive.

Disproof

The misleading narrative claims 1) that Estonia is interfering in the internal affairs of other counrties, 2) that sanctioning Russia for poisoning Alexei Navalny “brings nothing but problems” and 3) questions Estonia’s foreign policy independency.

The EUvsDisinfo database features numerous examples where Western countries are accused in interfering, for example the United States is allegedly interfering in Belarus, and Polish special services intervened in Ukraine. However, according to the pro-Kremlin media, the opposite is claimed to be true for Russia, as it never meddles in internal affairs of other countries. In reality, the interference of Russia in internal affairs for example of ex-soviet countries is a long tradition that sometimes even ended in frozen armed conflicts.