The Kamloops Daily News has risen from the dead — or at least a copy of it has, now being peddled as a fake news website, apparently for propaganda purposes.
EU DisinfoLab, a non-governmental organization based in Brussels, Belgium, says it has uncovered a network of 265 fake news websites being used to push articles and videos with a pro-India and anti-Pakistan slant.
A majority of the 265 fake news websites are "zombie" publications — news outlets that have shut down but have now been re-animated for nefarious purposes.
One of those websites purports to be the defunct Kamloops Daily News, which closed in 2014.
The fake website is online at thekamloopsdailynews.com, while the real Kamloops Daily News website is still online, housing the newspaper’s archives at kamloopsnews.ca.
The fake website is filled with news and opinion articles or videos pulled from various other agencies, some of it with an anti-Pakistan slant, such as one piece entitled, “India’s new impetus on confronting terrorism,” which points to Pakistan as the source of terrorism in India.
EU DisinfoLab claims the sites were established to influence the European Union and the United Nations by repeatedly criticizing Pakistan. Fake news websites all contain material from eptoday.com, a self-proclaimed European Parliament monthly magazine news website, and timesofgeneva.com, a site that duplicates much of eptoday.com’s content.
Other “zombie” outlets in Canada include the defunct newspaper 24 Hours in the cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal, the Toronto Telegram, the Quebec Telegraph, the Jewish Tribune in Ottawa, the Canadian Illustrated News out of Pointe-Claire, Que., and the Acadian Recorder in Nova Scotia.
Some fake websites also had associated social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, many of which have since been suspended.
EU DisinfoLab says it plans to publish a more extensive report on what it revealed in its blog post in the coming weeks.