In October, the Estonian press was not very active in writing about propaganda and information manipulation. The main theme was Social Media and its manipulation, influence activities and problems with privacy.
Russia’s influence on the information space
Delfi wrote, that the Postimees Group decided to start advertising on Russian television channels. From January 1, Postimees will take over advertising sales of BMA Estonia OÜ TV channels in Estonia. This will add PBK, NTV Baltic Estonia, REN-TV Baltic Estonia ja DOM Kino to the Postimees TV channel portfolio. There were numerous stories of the Postimees Group broadcasting advertising on these channels in August.
Delfi published political scientist Karmo Tüür’s story on the effectiveness of Russian influence activities among Estonian commentators. Tüür wrote: „Commentator no. 18 uses not only the discussion points / main topics of Russian information operations but also their basic techniques. Not a single „hostile“ piece on Ukraine/ Russia topics should go unanswered. Even if its late, you need to add repeatedly less-revised wording to the comments content. „
The full version of the story can be read free on Tüür’s blog.
Delfi Forte published in mid-October, an overview, which was originally published in Soldier magazine, of how the Spring Storm 2019 military exercise was reflected in Russian media.
Fighting against fake news
Originally published in the Economist, Delfi reported in Estonian late October the story of Debunk.eu, a Lithuanian based solution in fighting fake news. A technical intelligence solution helps identify propaganda narratives and the origins of fake news. Propastop wrote about the solution in May of this year.
In October, ERR wrote about a cooperation agreement between the national information agencies of Russia and North Korea that will jointly combat „fake news.“ In a peculiar fashion, the Russian State news agency TASS and the North Korean State news agency KCNA complained through a joint announcement, that the news environment is increasingly seeing misinterpretation of information and said that they have to resist such fake news transmissions.
It is known that the West sees Russia as one of the main broadcasters of so-called fake news in the world, and the KCNA is in turn considered as a propaganda channel for North Korea and its dictator Kim Jong-sleep.
About Social media, the information space and privacy on the internet
In October, ERR wrote about a Facebook initiative launching a platform in the United States. Namely, the Social media giant started with the edited Facebook News, which contains articles from publications that collaborate with Facebook. The plan is to start cooperation with major media channels and pay for publishing materials to them in Estonia was last discussed a few months ago.
In October, ERR Innovator wrote about two master’s theses, one on student cyberbullying of teachers and the other on the protection of privacy and personal data from being identified by machines and machine learning in European Union law.
The first reports on interviews with a teacher who has been the victim of 14 cases of cyberbullying.
The second focuses on publishing data on the Internet, indexing it by search engines, and its impact on privacy.