Espreso. Global

Network of Russian propaganda against Ukrainian army runs in Ukraine’s TikTok

3 January, 2024 Wednesday
19:00

The Ukrainian segment of the TikTok social network circulates pro-Russian fakes that increase social tension, stir up protest moods, and encourage the audience to oppose the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Most of these accounts offer links to anonymous Telegram channels

This is stated in research conducted by the Institute of Mass Information in November 2023.

It is noted that those who create such fake videos on TikTok encourage their audience to subscribe to a number of low-quality anonymous telegram channels with several hundred thousand subscribers.

These Telegram channels are mostly filled with news copied from various media in Ukrainian and Russian, among which are advertisements for other TikTok channels, various goods and services, such as tobacco products and unlicensed gambling resources.

In addition, these channels contain manipulative polls, in particular on political topics, and spread false information about events in Ukraine and abroad, sometimes duplicating their own fakes from TikTok.

These Telegram channels include, among others, Korrespondent UA - News of Ukraine, Vse bude Ukraina, Kraina Ukraina, Pravda, Chas Novyn, Pershyi Official, Ukrainske Dyvo, Informuie Ukraina, Radar of Rockets, Bayraktar news, Novyny Ukraina, and Ukraina Vpered.

"After all, it looks like a single system of making money on traffic and spreading unfair advertising and emotional fakes," the Institute of Mass Information emphasizes.

Most of the fake videos found by the Institute on TikTok are edited from news programs of popular Ukrainian TV channels and voiced by well-known hosts, faked with the help of electronic services. All such videos are accompanied by brightly colored texts that duplicate the content of the reading. In some cases, the captions overlap the faces of the hosts in the frame, making it difficult to see the discrepancy between the articulation of the people in the frame and the voiceover.

According to the researchers, each fake news channel on TikTok has its own administrator, but they are united into a single fake news network with a common control center from which tasks for individual content makers are received.

The proof of this is that most fake TikTok channels distribute content that is similar in content and form, but not identical. Videos can be edited from different footage, voiced by different voices, have different wording, and contain more or less language errors. At the same time, the same fictions are spread, the same messages are emphasized, and all this is distributed in the same format.

Fake "news" is sloppy and primitive. They try to present the fictitious information in the most emotional way possible, using vocabulary that does not match the style of the TV channels whose material they use. The level of literacy of the voiced texts also does not match the picture, as they contain many language errors and clumsy wording.

Researchers of the Institute also note that fake channels parasitize on the brands of well-known media. Among the analyzed channels, there are four that try to pass themselves off as a product of the 1+1 TV channel and use either combinations of 1 or the TSN abbreviation in their names and avatars. Another channel uses the Channel 24 logo as its avatar.

  • The day before, it was also reported that Russian diplomatic fake news with images of Ukrainian hosts appeared on TikTok: they talk about the alleged introduction of a law that would allow Ukrainians to confiscate their cars.

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