Anatomy of a Disinformation Empire: Investigating NaturalNews

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.

The Long Tail of Influence Operations: A Case Study on News Front

This case study examines two websites and two blogging accounts which appear to be linked to News Front, a Crimean-based news organisation previously accused of being a source of pro-Kremlin disinformation and influence operations. While the impact of the site’s activity is low, the case study provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the broader disinformation ecosystem and sheds light on the long tail of state-linked online assets.