A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate PeaceData Questionable based on a lack of disclosure that they are Russian actors as well the promotion of propaganda to sow division within the USA political system.
Reasoning: Lack of Transparency, Russian Propaganda
World Press Freedom Rank: Russia 149/180
Founded in 2020, PeaceData is a Russian news website that produces left-leaning content, covering the environment and corporate and political corruption. On 9/1/2020, Facebook removed PeaceData and associated accounts from their service after the FBI found that people formerly associated with the Russian Internet Research Agency, which inflamed political tensions in the 2016 election, ran Peace Data.
The website provides an about page that reads “Peace Data is a young non-profit news organization. We are focused on armed conflicts, corruption, environment crisis, abuse of power, activism, and human rights. We seek the truth about key world events, facts and problems hidden from the general public.” They also list editors and contributors, however, according to an NBC News Report “some of Peace Data’s freelance journalists were real reporters, some of its “editors” were personas whose profile pictures were deep fakes, or algorithmically generated.”
Funded by / Ownership
PeaceData does not disclose ownership, however, they appear to be run by Russian State Actors and are indirectly funded through the Russian government.
Analysis / Bias
In review, the website publishes news articles from a liberal perspective, some of which were written by USA journalists. The journalists were paid for their articles but did not know the money was coming from Russian sources. Articles and headlines are written to elicit emotions such as this Overfunding of U.S. Military Is Driving Climate Change and White Supremacist Culture of War Crimes. This story, like most, is very well sourced to credible media outlets such as USA Today, Science Daily and NPR. While the news is generally factual, the purpose of this website is to divide the Democratic party through negative reporting on the establishment such as this: The Biden-Harris Ticket Encapsulates How the Western Left Will Give in to Right-Wing Populism.
The site also seeks to inflame divisions between the left and right with highly negative articles that imply Donald Trump is racist such as this Boogaloo Movement: USA Far Right is Growing Thanks to Donald Trump. Finally, according to an NBC News report, they state “The election wasn’t the only focus, but to the extent that it was, it looks like the operation wanted to divide Democratic voters, the same way the IRA tried in 2016.” In other words, the efforts are to persuade the progressive left not to vote for the establishment candidates. In general, from a content standpoint, this is a strongly left-leaning website, but from a mission standpoint, it is supportive of the right-wing and re-election of Donald Trump. Therefore, we will not rate this source on the bias scale as it would be misleading to reviewers.
Failed Fact Checks
- They have not been fact-checked by an IFCN fact-checker
Overall, we rate PeaceData Questionable based on a lack of disclosure that they are Russian actors as well the promotion of propaganda to sow division within the USA political system. (D. Van Zandt 9/1/2020)