Propastop started up a blacklist in February of websites releasing anti-Estonian propaganda and asked that Estonian organizations not advertise on these sites. This way we can cease funding influence operations antagonistic to us, in other words stopping initiatives that are using our own money against us.
The blacklist created great interest in the kremlin supportive media; while it seems that here at home, no one really paid much attention to it. Namely, we brought out within the discussions on Erna Trek media releases, that there is a large amount of advertisement from Estonian related sources in propaganda newspapers. Especially grotesque is the fact that – Estonian political parties are advertising in this medium due to the upcoming municipal elections
Consequently in Territorija Voinõ, a site that on August 25. called the Erna Trek as Estonia’s shame we can see an IRL campaign advertisement titled „Aeg for mayor!“. That same day the political party, Keskerakond was advertising on the same theme in Komsomolskaja Pravda. The two afore named political parties were especially visible in the second half of August with advertisement’s in blacklisted websites; Komsomolsja Pravda, Territorija Voinõ, OKO Planetõ, VG-News, Voennõne Obozrenie, Vzglad, Novosti online, Lentainform and Gazeta.ru.
We noticed another tendency, in that Estonian governmental and private companies are also advertising on the propaganda sites. We discovered that in August for example, a campaign by Omniva (owned by Estonian national postal service AS Eesti Post) „ You buy, Omniva pays“ was advertised in several blacklisted news sites.
We found that the Health Development Institute, an organization under the administration of the Ministry of Social Affairs was advertising on vg-news.ru, a site well known to Propastop readers due to our article showing them as a critic of Erna Trek. The Estonian Maritime Administration had ads on the OKO-Planetõ site as well.
We can say that purchasing ads in these type of sites, paid for by Estonian taxpayers money is supporting information attacks against Estonia. It is especially painful for Propastop to see governmental agency campaigns on the Estonian Sputnik site. If other Russian propaganda channels are not so well known, then Sputnik has had much coverage in the media in recent times.
It is very easy to avoid promoting propaganda
There are many ways to advertise on Propaganda channels. Space can be purchased directly from the channel through Russian advertising agency, Yandex Direct or through Google Adwords. Estonian advertisements are appearing on propaganda channels through Google Adword placement. It is very easy to avoid keywords, topics and specific pages that are not recommended to show up in your message:
In conclusion, you only have to have the desire to avoid propaganda channels and let your media company be aware of it. If nothing, else please share this link with the individuals responsible for your advertising needs. Perhaps they will get the hint.
Pictures: screen shots from the mentioned websites.