Owners of misinformation sites do everything in their power to both hide their identities… 和 how much money they make from spreading falsehoods. 黄金城官网媒体中心的“错误信息商业”项目, 数据与社会(CMDS)揭露了一些最严重的违法者, examining their links to each other 和 to political parties 和 institutions. One thing has already been proven: misinformation is a lucrative business.
在今年早些时候斯洛伐克总统选举之前, Zem a Vek网站发布了一张Zuzana Caputova的照片, 后来被选为该国总统, edited so as to give her a hooked nose 和 bigger lips: the archetypal Jewish stereotype. 原来的图片, 取自DennikN, 斯洛伐克新闻门户网站, 是经过ps后达到预期效果的吗. Both the content of the article 和 the modified image evoked Second World War Nazi anti-Semitic propag和a.
事实上，这些内容给Zem带来了丰厚的收入. Sofian, 经营Zem a Vek(斯洛伐克语意为“地球与时代”)的公司, 创造了超过430欧元的销售收入,000 in 2018. 在一个月平均收入为1欧元的国家,000, 这对提伯·艾略特·罗斯塔斯来说已经绰绰有余了, Sofian的主人, 过上舒适的生活.
Zem a Vek is just one of the bogus websites that have mushroomed in Slovakia during the past five years, 根据“错误信息商业”项目收集的数据. 这些网站中的大多数“都在兜售民族主义者, 亲俄, anti-EU/NATO/USA 和 anti-immigration worldview” according to CMDS’s research. 在过去的几年里，许多这样的网站已经淹没了欧洲.
CMDS’ Business of Misinformation project maps the companies 和 individuals owning, 控制或运营假新闻网站. 这个由四人组成的项目小组在错误信息网站上收集数据, 包括业主简介和基本财务数据.
“By tracking the companies 和 people who operate misinformation sites, 商业模式和动机, we believe we get closer to underst和ing the ecosystem of misinformation, including the role social media 和 mainstream media play in the phenomenon. At the same time we are also able to contribute to the development of effective responses to misinformation” says Senior Program Officer 和 研究er Dr. 来自CMDS的Eva Bognar.
“The project is in its pilot phase: we are experimenting with the methodology, 这需要强烈, 和 sometimes quite difficult work from the researchers into the financial background of these sites” Bognar adds.
在一个名为“谁隐藏在骗子背后”的活动上?”, 九月初在黄金城官网举行, the project team examined the unique characteristics of misinformation in the region: Judit对 谈到了匈牙利, 约瑟夫米甲Mintal 谈到了斯洛伐克 森马Dzebo - joining via a video connection - presented the situation in the Western Balkans.
The Bosnian war is “low-hanging fruit" for those wanting to spread misinformation in the Balkans, Dzebo说. “This is a topic that generates a lot of attention 和 clicks 和 comments because the war continues to provoke immediate reactions from many people, 这让它在假新闻创作者中非常受欢迎.”
The unique aspect of misinformation in Hungary is that it is not confined to small misinformation sites: mainstream 和 public service media are spreading falsehoods as well. 据Judit对说，主流网站如origo.hu 和 popular tv channels such as TV2 frequently re-publish 和 curate fabricated stories. Szakacs also found that it is not only extreme-right misinformation websites that exist in Hungary; t在这里 is also a host of hyper-partisan leftist, 在这个国家运作的反政府虚假网站.
在斯洛伐克 和 the Czech Republic misinformation is spread by several independently run sites. Jozef Mintal referred to one of the most absurd stories he encountered during his research: Ukrainian soldiers were continuing to fight ten days after their death, 成为“僵尸士兵.“这条假新闻是由捷克版的卫星新闻(Sputnik news)传播的, 克里姆林宫宣传机器的一个分支.
The three researchers agreed that most of these sites make a huge profit for their owners. 然而, they noted that it is extremely hard to track down exactly how much money iis being generated. 这些网站大多隐藏了所有权, 而这不会发生, 要获得财务数据几乎是不可能的.
在斯洛伐克, 例如, 很多这样的网站都是由非政府组织运营的, 因此不需要公开他们的财务报表. The very few sites that are run by companies that have to publish such data show that the misinformation business is indeed lucrative – as proven by the case of Tibor Eliot Rostas. 阅读更多黄金城网站登录首页斯洛伐克的错误信息 在这里.
It is a similar situation in Bosnia 和 Herzegovina; 森马Dzebo decided to track down how much these sites charge for advertising banners: "They ask for a hefty price, 这意味着这一定是一笔赚钱的生意,”他说.
Dzebo的研究, aimed at unearthing ownership 和 financial data about the misinformation websites catering to Bosnian audiences, found that the majority of these websites are motivated solely by profit, 主要是通过谷歌的广告销售计划产生的. 请阅读黄金城网站登录首页波斯尼亚和黑塞哥维那错误信息地点的报告 在这里.
The owners 和 financial data of Hungary’s misinformation sites is hard to track down as well, thus Judit对 also looked at the advertising rates of these websites. One of these websites set the rate of a 7-day banner placement at 300 euros, 在当地市场价格高吗.
The CMDS team’s research revealed that these websites rarely operate alone. 同一个商业团体通常控制着大量的网站. Dzebo, 例如, found one person in Bosnia 和 Herzegovina who owned some 40 websites.
在匈牙利，Judit对发现了两个巨大的群体. 这些团体通常会彼此分享故事和内容. One of the groups operating a number of websites can be linked to a network of political organizations accused of fraud in the 2014 和 2018 general elections in Hungary. Several of these ‘fake parties’ were investigated 和 one of them was charged with fraud by prosecutors. 阅读更多黄金城网站登录首页匈牙利的错误信息 在这里.
The project team is creating an online database of misinformation traders that they will update regularly. The area covered includes Bosnia 和 Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia 和 Slovakia. 负责该项目的CMDS团队包括 CMDS Director Marius Dragomir, Senior Program Officer 和 研究er Eva Bognar 和 外联协调员罗伯特·内梅特. 该项目的研究人员是 PhD student 森马Dzebo, CMDS Fellow 约瑟夫米甲Mintal, MA student Alex Rusnák 和 CMDS Fellow Judit Szakács.