The Guardian reports on a fake media operation on Facebook. One that is clearly and obviously a fake too:
The Russian agency that interfered in the 2016 US election created a fake leftwing news publication, staffed it with fake editors with AI-generated photos and hired real freelance reporters as part of a fresh influence operation detected and removed by Facebook, the company said on Tuesday.
How do we know that it’s a fake?
Four freelance journalists who wrote for PeaceData told the Guardian that they had been approached by one of PeaceData’s “editors” on Twitter, LinkedIn or by email with an offer to write for the site. Two were early-career writers who had recently been laid off and were eager to establish themselves; two were more experienced writers. The Guardian agreed to let them speak anonymously because they were concerned for their careers.
The writers only learned of the deception from news reports or reporters’ inquiries. One of the experienced journalists said that PeaceData had paid $250 up front, which was unusual, then “ghosted” her after publishing one piece. “I didn’t imagine a scam would have paid me up front like that,” she said.
Another writer said he was approached via direct message on Twitter and offered $200-$250 a piece, more than he was usually paid for writing.
That’s three times what The Guardian pays for an online piece. Clearly and obviously fake therefore.
But then as the Morning Star archives prove, Russian Gold to the UK press has always been rather generous.