went from claiming that Russian bots
were using alternative media outlets
to spread "fake news"
to admitting that
they were actually sharing
mainstream media stories
that favored Trump.
However, the Post is now claiming that the propaganda it accused Russian bots of spreading was actually (North) American, and it was "factually accurate."
In a new story titled "Russia used Mainstream Media to manipulate American Voters," the Post admitted that instead of creating and spreading "fake news," the accounts it claimed were controlled by Russians actually focused on sharing stories from American mainstream media outlets, and one of their most used sources just happened to be The Washington Post...
Citing an analysis by Columbia University social-media researcher Jonathan Albright, the Post noted that the majority of the "Russian propaganda" spread by these accounts was made up of "factually accurate" stories from American sources:
While the Post did not admit it directly, the claim that so-called Russian accounts on social media were frequently sharing mainstream media reports that elevated Trump or criticized Clinton, is a far cry from the claims the Post made during the election.
In November 2016, the Post published a story titled, "Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say" in which it cited a list of 200 sites it accused of spreading Russian propaganda, compiled by,
However, the group, which went by the name of "PropOrNot," lacked both credentials and evidence.
As we reported following the hit-piece:
The latest update from the Washington Post on alleged Russian meddling also cited Clinton Watts, a former FBI agent who is now working for the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
He claimed that instead of using obscure alternative sources, the "Russian accounts" on Twitter opted to share American mainstream media stories because it appeared to enhance their credibility.
In the same way
that the Washington Post is criticizing Twitter accounts for sharing
links to their stories that promoted Trump or cast doubt on Clinton,
the Post should also be held accountable for the many stories its
outlet published pushing the narrative that Russian meddling and "fake
news" were alive and well - only to then completely shift the
story when the original claims fell apart.