Anatomy of a Disinformation Empire: Investigating NaturalNews
Published: 25 June 2020
This report presents the findings of an extensive investigation into a network of domains connected to NaturalNews, a US-based commercial enterprise and website promoting conspiracy theories and disinformation. Using a combination of data analysis and open source intelligence (OSINT), this study examines the scale and nature of the NaturalNews network, including its reach on Facebook, its connections to and promotion of far-right and extremist ideology and its activities in relation to COVID-19 and the protests associated with the killing of George Floyd. This investigation shines a light on the endurance of coordinated disinformation networks on and off social media platforms, as well as the challenges for and remaining limitations of technological companies’ responses to such threats.