Headline RoundupJuly 10th, 2024

Justice Department Disrupts Alleged Russian ‘Bot Farm’

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Department of Justice took action against an AI-powered Russian “bot farm” that included 968 X accounts, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Details: The operation was allegedly founded by Russian state media RT’s (Lean Right bias) deputy editor-in-chief in 2022 to spread the news agency’s content online. U.S. officials claim Russia’s security service, the FSB, learned about the operation and subsequently co-opted it as an intelligence operation. Two domains used as part of the operation were U.S.-based, and the Justice Department contends the editor failed to comply with U.S. law after purchasing the domains.

Context: Russian influence on U.S. elections and media has been widely discussed in recent years. Last week, BBC News (Center bias) reported discovering a separate Russia-based disinformation network that used “fake news sites populated by stories rewritten by AI.” 

Hamilton 68: In 2017, the Alliance for Securing Democracy’s Hamilton 68 list marked 600 X (then Twitter) accounts as Russian bots, a resource that many mainstream media outlets have cited since. In 2023, Twitter Files reporting by Matt Taibbi (Center bias) found that real Americans like journalists from Newsmax (Lean Right bias) and Consortium News were on this list.

Russian Response: RT's press office said in a statement, "Farming is a beloved pastime for millions of Russians."

How The Media Covered It: The story was covered across the spectrum, but mostly by the left and center. Despite releasing a statement, AllSides did not find coverage from RT on the matter.

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