According to a report from BuzzFeed News, Alex Jones‘ conspiracy-laden fake news website InfoWars has copied over 1,000 articles from the Russian state-sponsored news outlet RT (formerly known as Russia Today) without permission.
The InfoWars articles featured a credit to RT, but a spokesperson for the Russian propaganda outlet told BuzzFeed that InfoWars does not have permission to republish RT’s content.
Using the social media tracking website BuzzSumo, BuzzFeed found that InfoWars has also been copying content from other news outlets such as CNN, Sputnik (which is another Russian state-run outlet), Breitbart, CNS News (an offshoot of the right-wing Media Research Center), The Blaze (owned by Glenn Beck), CBC, BBC, VICE, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, and BuzzFeed.
InfoWar’s copying and republishing of articles without permission has been going on for the last three years.
“We take under consideration any use of our content without authorisation, and proceed with any action we deem appropriate,” RT spokesperson Anna Belkina told BuzzFeed. “We do this on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the resources we have available at the time.”
From BuzzFeed News:
Jones and his outlet have also faced accusations that their work often aligns with Kremlin-funded outlets such as RT, and that they have at times benefitted from amplification from Twitter bots and other Russian information operations. McClatchy reported in March that federal investigators are looking at whether far-right media such as InfoWars and Breitbart played a role in boosting Russian misinformation. In this case, there’s no question that InfoWars has been copying and pasting Kremlin-funded news articles and promoting them to its audience.
RT is a known disseminator of Russian propaganda. In September, the Justice Department ordered the network to register itself as a foreign agent. Speaking at the Atlantic Council on September 9, Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), said that RT is “likely violating US law by spreading propaganda on behalf of a foreign government without properly identifying itself.” According to a report from the U.S. intelligence community, RT is a “state-run propaganda machine” that “has positioned itself as a domestic U.S channel and has deliberately sought to obscure any legal ties to the Russian Government.”
RT is known for being selective with facts and it’s not clear how popular it is in the US, but right-wing conspiracy theorists and Trump supporters often share links to the outlet. The InfoWars site is well-known, and could be giving the Russian broadcaster another boost and credibility among the audience.
Alex Jones is also no stranger to Russian media. He’s appeared on RT and even been aired in Russia by a state broadcaster. RT is also often cited as a source by pro-Trump commentators and websites. Far-right website Gateway Pundit lists it under its “GP favorite media” section, for example, and InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson often tweets stories from the broadcaster.
Earlier this year, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff accused Alex Jones and InfoWars of spreading Russian propaganda — an accusation that prompted Jones to give an angry, profanity-laced response.
“You want to sit here and say that I’m a goddamn, f*cking Russian,” Jones railed. “You get in my face with that I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a b*tch. You piece of sh*t. You f*cking goddamn f*cker. Listen f*ckhead, you have f*cking crossed a line. Get that through your goddamn f*cking head. Stop pushing your sh*t.”
Featured image via YouTube