Brussels-based NGO Researchers have found a global network of pro-Indian fake websites and think-tanks aimed at influencing decision-makers in Europe against Pakistan. According to the report, the coordinated network of two hundred sixty five websites operates across sixty five countries to disseminate propaganda against Pakistan.
The researchers traced the websites to an Indian company, Srivastava Group. The network was also found to involve groups responsible for anti-Pakistan lobbying events in Europe. Alexandre Alaphilippe, executive director of EU Disinfo Lab, told the BBC that they traced the servers behind the website to Srivastava Group.
“More than the fake media outlets alone, it is their combination with the fake NGOs that’s really worrying because it provides a mirage of online and grassroots support to a cause. That’s exactly where the disinformation lies,” Alexandre Alaphilippe, executive director of EU Disinfo Lab, told the BBC.
Six of the sites use misleading names, like “Times of Los Angeles” instead of the better known “Los Angeles Times”. The websites all copy syndicated content from news organisations to make them look like real news sites. They then plant anti-Pakistan stories and opinion pieces from employees of NGOs linked to the network to serve India’s lobbying interests, researchers found.
The Times of Geneva is one of the most sophisticated websites in the network, and creates a lot of video content. Its activities appear to target decision makers at the UN. The website hasn’t been updated since 19 November, a few days after EU Disinfo Lab first announced its discovery of the network.
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