Chinese official promoting unfounded Canadian theory that coronavirus has roots in U.S. military - 2020-03-14
On Friday, Mr. Zhao revealed a new source for his information: the Centre for Research on Globalization, or Global Research, a site founded by Michel Chossudovsky, a professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa, which has come under investigation by NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence over its content. In 2017, the centre told The Globe and Mail that it believes Global Research is an important online actor in promoting the online spread of narratives backed by the Kremlin and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Global Research articles on controversial subjects have sometimes ranked above those from reputable news organizations in online searches.
"They increase the Google ranking of the story and create the illusion of multisource verification," Donara Barojan, who does digital forensic research for the centre, told The Globe in 2017. She said at the time there was no direct proof of direct connections between the site and any government.
Russia's government has used online platforms for disinformation campaigns to sow confusion and distrust in government, according to reports prepared for the U.S. government. A 2016 report by the RAND Corporation described a "firehose of falsehood" from Russia that uses "high numbers of channels and messages and a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions."