Big Data Reveals the informational War Between Russian and Global Media for Shooting Down Airliner Over Ukraine

An analysis carried out by Semantic Visions revealed some very intriguing differences when it came to both the Russians and the Westerns commentaries about the shooting down of an airliner back in 2014. This is just one of many major stories that were analyzed as part of the research of over 320 million English language articles and over 55 million Russian language articles that were compared between 2014 and 2016.


The results from their research revealed a great deal of interest in Kremlin propaganda from both domestic and foreign interests and also painted certain aspects of Western media coverage in a not so pretty way. Frantisek Vrabel, the Semantic Visions CEO, explained, “We chose the politically more neutral Sochi Olympics as a ‘control’ to show the normal proportion, around one to 5.6, of Russian (red) to English (blue) language articles for an international event.”


However, data of the shoot-down of MH17 is not quite right. “The initial Russian story was that MH17 was taken down by a Ukraine jet fighter – so you would think they would use it to support their version,” says Vrabel. “But they knew they had done something wrong. It’s almost as if they were trying to downplay it.”

One month following the MH17 shoot-down Russia set out on an information operation aimed at the Western media. During that time they gathered a lot of global attention offering humanitarian assistance, even though they wouldn’t allow reporters to see inside these trucks running the so-called humanitarian convoy and were usually accompanied by helicopters. But, as Vrabel stated the charade, “was not intended for the Russian public, but for a global audience in their informational war.”

For more info visit MIT News.



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