Some resources to follow the invasion of Ukraine

Keeping up with news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is difficult, especially if you’re not already well-informed about the situation. Turning to Twitter may be the automatic reaction, but it’s not necessarily helpful: the default non-chronological timeline means news is presented out of order (here’s how you can fix that, if you want). Opinions trump people reporting on the ground. Many Twitter users posted videos from Ukraine on Wednesday, including big accounts like @Conflictsfound their accounts suspended or lockeda move that Twitter says was a mistake.

At times like this, “Twitter’s strength as an amplification and recommendation platform disappears,” said Jeremy Litteau, associate professor of journalism and communications at Lehigh University. “It’s not that the media coverage isn’t there, it’s that the ability to find it is more difficult. I have a mix of expertise and good takes from sudden experts and people who post with the Ukrainian flag. That’s a lot, and at times like these, I think we have a hard time sifting through that volume of information.

The Kyiv Independent, a three-month-old Ukrainian English-language news site launched by former Kyiv Post journalists after that outlet was temporarily closed – the Kyiv Post has since been relaunched – uses the lightning bolt emoji to help readers to quickly differentiate sound news tweets other tweets:

We’ve put together a few resources to help you get reliable information about what’s going on. This list is being updated.

Twitter Lists

A few people have compiled Twitter lists of people to follow. However, a word of caution: “Don’t necessarily trust your networked amplifiers. Other people move fast and maybe don’t check so well,” Kate Starbird, associate professor of human-centered design and engineering at the University of Washington, tweeted. “Mistakes happen. Don’t let their mistake be your mistake and affect your network. » (For example; for example.)

From Jane Lytvynenkosenior researcher at the Technology and Social Change Project at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard Kennedy School, originally from Ukraine:

From CNN reporter Daniel Dale:

From Josh Marshall, Editor and Publisher of Talking Points Memo:

From Rebecca Shabad, political reporter for NBC News:

Telegram in English

Abandoned paywalls/free products

The Financial Times dropped its paywall on Ukraine coverage.

The Kyiv Post and the Kyiv Independent are free of charge. (The Kyiv Independent has a Patreon and GoFundMe.)

NewsWhip is offering to make its premium product Spike free to select groups. (Find contact details etc. to access the product further down the feed.)

Fact checking and debunking

International investigative journalism collective Bellingcat maintains a fact-checking spreadsheet of dubious and debunked claims from the Ukrainian frontlines, noting: have little truth to them. On the contrary, some videos appear to be blatant attempts at disinformation.

Beware of fraudulent war pages on Instagram and fake war reporting, reports Taylor Lorenz:

Hayden, who claims to be a 21-year-old from Kentucky, says after he learned of the war on Instagram hip-hop page @Rap, he saw an opportunity. He had previously run a people’s war page called @liveinafghanistan. More recently, he renamed it @newstruths and turned to posting viral, vaguely conservative videos featuring shoplifters and clips of President Biden.

But Wednesday night was war again, and the page became @livefromukraine.

“I don’t really know what’s going on with all this political tension,” Hayden says. “I’m just trying to document what’s going on.” Its verification methods involve looking at the comment sections of videos and seeing if other people have claimed that they are fake. “I can’t really verify them myself,” he says of the videos he shares.

Kayleen Devlin and Olga Robinson from The BBC Disinformation Watch Unit looked at some of the techniques used by Russia to try to spread pro-Kremlin media narratives; for example:

In recent weeks, some Russian state media have published misleading headlines about international support for Ukraine based solely on user comments on Western media sites.

An article published in late January on the website of the state news agency RIA Novosti claimed that “British” readers of the Daily Express supported the view that Ukraine should not be defended because Russia had a stronger military presence in the region than NATO.

Another suggested that readers were laughing at Ukraine’s military potential.

There are also fears that pro-Kremlin trolls, using fake accounts, have targeted British and foreign media sites, to advance Russian interests.

Research carried out last year by Cardiff University’s Crime and Security Research Institute found that the comment sections of 32 leading media websites in 16 countries, including the Daily Express, had been targeted by pro-Kremlin trolls.

According to the researchers, their anti-Western and pro-Russian comments later served as the basis for reporting in Russian-language media.

Secure messaging platform Telegram “was the invasion’s main vector of disinformation”, Foreign Policy noted:

Telegram may be a fairly fringe social media channel in the West, but unlike Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, it is a channel free from restrictions for state-sponsored propaganda campaigns in Russia, where it remains popular. The Russian public television channel RT, for example, has more than 200,000 subscribers on the platform.

The amount of disinformation emanating from Telegram was large enough to warrant a statement by the Ukrainian government’s anti-disinformation body on Thursday, calling the channels’ work “information terrorism”. While few English-language channels were on the government’s list of those flagged as dangerous, although some of them have tens of thousands of subscribers, the statement nevertheless underscores Kiev’s fear that Telegram is offering a dedicated pro-Russian propaganda pipeline.

Live broadcast

Lytvynenko wrote for The Atlantic about watching a Reuters Live Stream from Maidan Square in Kiev.

Maidan stream is unlike all the noise. Nothing is wrong here; there is no algorithm; and once I hide the live chat, there’s not even a conversation to analyze. This is not a green screen on which TV pundits discuss Russia’s next step. The livestream isn’t trying to convince me of anything; it’s just showing me things as they are.

Maps

data wrappers Lisa Charlotte Muth has a thread of graphic reporter cards.

Translations

The New York Times translates some of its articles on Russia and Ukraine into Spanish.

This post is updated as needed. Let us know if you have any suggestions for things to add.

Photo of Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, February 24, 2022 by AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti.