Infowars copied more than 1,000 Russia Today articles without permission
InfoWars has copied and pasted more than 1,000 articles in the last three years from the state-financed Russian news source RT without permission from the news agency, BuzzFeed News has discovered. Why exactly the website founded by Alex Jones would do such a thing isn’t really clear, but a person who was perhaps inclined to believe and rant about conspiracy theories might find it odd.
According to BuzzFeed News, at least 1,014 RT articles have been ripped off by InfoWars. It’s not uncommon for websites to publish content from other sites (we do it all the time) but in those cases there is either a wire service to which a site subscribes, or they are cross-publishing from websites owned by the same media group. While each piece that appeared on InfoWars has an RT byline, none of those previously mentioned arrangements have been made between RT and InfoWars.
“RT doesn’t have wire services,” RT’s head of communications, Anna Belkina, told BuzzFeed. Belkina also confirmed InfoWars never struck up any other type of arrangement to re-publish the articles.
The connection is notable what with the ongoing investigation into Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election. Shortly after the election, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence spent an odd amount of space detailing RT’s activity in a report that most people thought would focus more on stuff like hacking. Jones himself has been accused of spreading Russian propaganda which, as BuzzFeed notes, caused him to launch into a rant where he threatened to “beat your goddamn ass.”
But lest you think this is definitive proof that InfoWars is part of some grand Russian plot, it’s also worth pointing out they’ve been jacking articles from…well…pretty much everyone. From BuzzFeed News:
RT is not the only outlet InfoWars copied content from. A search on BuzzSumo shows there are articles copied from CNN, Sputnik, Breitbart, CNS News, the Blaze, CBC, BBC, Vice, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Post, LA Times, BuzzFeed, and others. RT’s articles, however, seem to be the most numerous.
So, just plain old content thieves. Got it.
[BuzzFeed News | Screenshot via Infowars]