Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia outlined their findings in an Aug. 20 study, which centered on Twitter. The study authors analyzed the number of pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia hashtags on certain tweets, labeling posts depending on the amount of hashtags in support of Kyiv or Moscow.
From the pool of tweets analyzed by the study authors, “90.16 percent of accounts fell into the pro-Ukraine category, while only 6.80 percent fell into the pro-Russia category.”
The study authors also pointed out that “the patterns of information flows between bot and non-bot account vary based on national lean.”
“No significant outward flows exist from pro-Ukrainian non-bot accounts, with significant flows from pro-Ukrainian bot accounts into pro-Ukrainian non-bot accounts,” they wrote. “Most of the significant information flows between pro-Ukraine account groups is between groups with the same lean, indicating that more information flows between the accounts within each of these groups rather than to accounts in other groups.
On the other hand, the study authors wrote that “pro-Russia non-bot accounts are most influential overall, with information flows to a variety of other account groups.”
“These Russian non-bot accounts influence a variety of user groups with the greatest between-group information flows,” the researchers commented. “This may indicate that human-controlled accounts, or accounts which appear less bot-like, have more influence in [the] social network, potentially due to their behavior or perception.”
Moreover, the researchers mentioned five significant events during the Russia-Ukraine war that triggered “noticeable changes in the volumes of related tweets” on Twitter. These included the start of the conflict and the beginning of the conflict in the city of Mariupol, which both occurred in February. Also included were Moscow’s capture of the city of Kherson and the Zaporizhzia Nuclear Power Station, as well as Kyiv’s failed attempt to liberate Mariupol – all in March 2022.
MSM extending a hand in promoting pro-Ukraine propaganda
Aside from bots on social media platforms, mainstream media (MSM) news outlets also played a huge role in pushing pro-Ukraine messages. In particular, these outlets were propagandizing on behalf of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
British newspapers Financial Times and Sunday Times published articles painting the battalion as heroic patriots “fighting the real Nazis of the 21st century.” The articles also claimed that the Azov Battalion “has evolved so far from its origins to make its far-right roots meaningless.”
Consistent with its reputation for peddling lies, the Georgia-based “fake news network” known as CNN also ran stories painting the Azov Battalion in a positive light. It claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “exploiting” the Azov’s neo-Nazi heritage, even though the group itself proudly brandished symbols linked to the ideology.
“Azov’s military and political wings formally separated in 2016, when the far-right National Corps party was founded. The Azov battalion had by then been integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard,” said the “fake news network.”
It eventually admitted the truth about the Azov Battalion down the line: “An effective fighting force that’s very much involved in the current conflict, the battalion has a history of neo-Nazi leanings, which have not been entirely extinguished by its integration into the Ukrainian military.” (Related: Mainstream media now covering for Nazi-affiliated Ukrainian military unit they once condemned.)
Ultimately, this propaganda campaign turned out to be an appeal for military support.
“It’s very hard to bring down Russian aircraft with the mobile weapons we have. Our children are more important than fear of Putin’s aggression,” said Azov fighter Artem Hubenko. “To retake our regions, we need vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft weapons from NATO.”
Propaganda.news has more stories about pro-Ukraine propaganda pushed by the MSM and bots on social media platforms.
Watch Paul Joseph Watson of Summit News talk about propaganda surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war below.
This video is from the critical thinker channel on Brighteon.com.
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