How Russia sneaks fake news onto YouTube on a channel cunningly disguised to target young people
- The reports on ICYMI – In Case You Missed It – feature bright, colourful graphics
- The slick videos are made by Russia Today (RT), the Kremlin-funded broadcaster
- The ICYMI videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube
Russia’s propaganda machine is spreading fake news on a YouTube channel cunningly disguised to target young people.
The reports on ICYMI – In Case You Missed It – feature bright, colourful graphics and are presented by attractive English-speaking stars.
But what unsuspecting viewers will not know is that the videos are made by Russia Today (RT), the Kremlin-funded broadcaster that is currently under investigation by Ofcom.
The reports on ICYMI – In Case You Missed It – feature bright, colourful graphics and are presented by attractive English-speaking stars
In one recent ICYMI video – fronted by London-based RT presenter Polina Boiko, who speaks with a cut-glass British accent – claims that Russia was behind the Salisbury attack are mocked.
Boiko says the ‘real victims’ were Sergei Skripal’s dead guinea pigs.
In another video, after Britain joined air strikes in Syria following the gas attack in Douma, Boiko says: ‘Missiles from France, Britain and the US are like no other because they combine high-tech killing power with good intentions.’
And a third clip is simply called ‘Whatever goes wrong, you can always blame a Russian!’
The ICYMI videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, which is owned by Google, and on Facebook.
The ICYMI videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube
Earlier this year, YouTube announced it would label videos created by the Russian government, such as the ones pushed by RT, with a disclaimer to US viewers stating the channel ‘is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government’.
But ICYMI does not have that disclaimer on its channel.
RT said: ‘ICYMI is an editorially independent production and it is its own brand.
‘However we are hardly trying to hide it as a show we broadcast – it is the first show featured on the RT.com website and is helmed by a well-known RT reporter.’
YouTube did not respond to requests to comment.
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