Patrons and friends of Buzzfeed
Buzzfeed tends to take many readers by surprise — despite ostensibly being „just an entertainment portal” specializing in cute kittens, celebrities and low-quality journalism, it has increasingly become known for its political content. While a considerable amount of the information the site publishes is downright false or otherwise misleading, the website often backs up its claims citing “anonymous sources” in high places.
While the truth eventually emerges that the website has published something completely wrong, the damage has already been done by the time this is discovered. The site’s strategy is to leak false information, provoking the mainstream media to begin actively discussing the issue and directing traffic to the site, inflating scandals and forming a distorted image in the public eye.
When problems or pushback emerge (the site has quickly become notorious), Buzzfeed protects itself by appealing to freedom of the press, claiming they cannot be forced to identify the sources who provided them with the information, dossiers or „verified facts”.
Buzzfeed now has a reputation as a platform for publishing unverified or dubious information intended to cause noise and influencing public opinion.
US President Donald Trump said he sees it as „a failing pile of garbage”
He who pays the piper calls the tune: Buzzfeed’s patrons and friends
Buzzfeed was founded by Jonah Peretti (also co-founder of The Huffington Post) in 2006. Headquartered in Manhattan, New York. Since 2012, Benjamin Eli Smith of Politico has long been the Editor-in-Chief of the portal.
The portal initially focused on entertainment news, only later becoming involved in politics.
Benjamin Abraham Horowitz1, an active sponsor the project, founded a company called Loudcloud in the late 1990s. One of this company’s main customers (hosting and applications) was the US Army. The company was eventually renamed Opsware and began focusing on producing software.
Curiously enough, Horowitz has invested in many of the largest social networks, all of which have since faced scandals involving illicit use of personal data (Facebook, Twitter, Skype).
Bellingcat: NATO’s XBOX Expert
There is a saying which goes :“tell me who your friend is and I’ll tell you who you are”– Buzzfeed is close friends with Bellingcat, having spent many years working together on joint “investigations”.
Bellingcat was founded in 2014, just after the beginning of Ukrainian aggression against Donbass. Their first „investigation” concerned the Boeing MH17 situation. In the Skripal case, they somehow managed to gain access to the Federal Migration Service base of the Russian Federation, which, according to representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, raises suspicions of links with the security services. Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that it looked like the work of a “special office which, under the guise of investigations, purposefully leaks desinformation”. Wikileaks has cited evidence of Bellingcat’s connection to the British Ministry of Defence. Bellingcat cooperates with political structures connected to George Soros and has received grants directly from the Open Society. Another of Bellingcat’s major sponsors is Google, which already raises questions about the neutrality of search engines.
Bellingcat also cooperates with the Atlantic Council think tank which operates under NATO and receives grants from the US Department of Defense. Both organizations actively work to spread anti-Russian propaganda. The head of Bellingcat, Eliot Higgins, openly appears as a senior researcher on the organization’s website.
Since Bellingcat has such high ambitions, surely the organization must have plenty of experts? Not so much. Higgins admits that he gained all his knowledge about weapons from XBOX games and action films. At the same time, Bellingcat claims to be a platform for investigations on such large-scale and complex issues as MH17.
Another one of Buzzfeed’s partners is The Insider, led by anti-Kremlin liberal Roman Dobrokhotov and supported by neocons from the Heritage Foundation (Los-Angeles, USA).
According to RT, The Insider is headquartered in Riga, and from 2017 to 2018, the company’s revenue has quadrupled. According to one financial report, the company has raked in around €226,000 for some services– the banners on their website are certainly not generating that kind of revenue on their own. At the same time, according to Lursoft, the company is in a bit of debt – in other words, things are not going too smoothly.
According to Tsargrad, one of the investors of the project is Mikhail Khodorkovsky – although, in principle, it could be anyone.
Its founder Roman Dobrokhotov is known for his „investigations” targeting Russia. He had tried to build a career as a journalist, then as a political activist, and, when both dreams failed to come true, he realized it would be much easier to spread disinformation, create scandals and reap the rewards.
As Tsargrad notes: “It’s amazing that the website doesn’t have the money to get corporate mail, but it does have the money to pay for the work of numerous authors and investigations, which cannot be done without additional injections, for example, for tickets to Estonia, where an interview with one of the members of the Shaltai-Boltai hacker group was held”.
Cyberberkut writes about the reasons for the bias of these sites: “Now it becomes clear why The Insider and Bellingcat materials are biased against the Russian Federation. Receiving funding from organizations that do not hide their hostility towards Moscow, „investigative journalists” simply cannot be objective”.
In its publication Cyberberkut conducts a curious experiment: if one uses the same ‘methods’ of ‘investigation’ commonly used by Bellingcat or The Insider, he could easily create to following news story – “Mr. Dobrokhotov is an SSU agent and schizophrenic”. All one needs to do is craft a series of manipulations on the Internet, tie the disparate facts behind your ears and presto, ‘proof’!
(Full text in Russian – https://cyber-berkut.org/. Translation in English – https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1013816266753232897.html).
Buzzfeed should clearly feel proud to associate itself with these respected and trusted sources.
To be continued…