Disinfo: Russia’s effort to influence US elections is a conspiracy theory


The recent decision by Facebook to label as “state media” certain Russian, Chinese and Iranian outlets is an anachronistic propaganda tool which resembles Cold war tactics. Facebook labelled, among others, as state media Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik from Russia, Xinhua from China and Press TV from Iran. This move comes a few months before the next US presidential elections and some in the United States want to rejuvenate the conspiracy theory that Russia or some other foreign country meddled and influenced the results of the previous elections in 2016.


This is part of the pro-Kremlin's media's ongoing efforts to deny Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Facebook recently published a statement on the reasons for labeling state-controlled media that are wholly or partially under the editorial control of their government. This is not an "anachronistic propapanda tool" but a transparent, thorough exercise in which Facebook sought advice from experts in various fields. Indeed, Facebook has initiated an effort over the last few months to enhance its integrity profile ahead of the next US presidential elections in November 2020.

There is extensive evidence and research demonstrating Russia's influence operations around the 2016 US presidential election, including exploiting Facebook to post ads and influence voters' preferences (see here, here and here).

The US intelligence community had evidence since 2016 about Russia's activities to meddle in the elections, and the most thorough examination of these efforts is the Mueller report.. Moscow's efforts to interfere in elections in other countries is also widely documented.

For similar cases, see here.


  • Reported in: Issue 201
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: China, Iran, Russia, US
  • Keywords: US Presidential Election 2020, social media, Russia Today (RT), Facebook, New Cold War, Sputnik


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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An unfounded disinfo narrative about the Coronavirus pandemic targeting the World Health Organisation.

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