Blog busy assessing anti-Estonian propaganda

Merike Teder
, reporter
Please note that the article is more than five years old and belongs to our archive. We do not update the content of the archives, so it may be necessary to consult newer sources.

Starting yesterday, a blog called involved in uncovering anti-Estonian propaganda is publishing a propaganda thermometer to equip public for differentiating media attacks from ordinary news.

The indicators assess four levels of propaganda actions – low, moderate, high and extreme. At the moment, the level is shown to be low.

While publication of propaganda in Russia and its infiltration into media in Estonia and rest of the world is a daily thing, differentiating between it and the rest is increasingly difficult.

For instance, the beginning of this year saw increased mentions of the expression «Russian propaganda» in Estonian media space, while amount of media lies and manipulations in reality did not. Therefore, judging by the media a reader may get a wrong picture of the whole.

What the Propaganda thermometer measures is primarily what is going on in the media – like statements by politicians and changes in military balance. Regarding the non-profit associations in Kremlin service, these are reflected by the thermometer when via media they reach the wider public and take on an anti-Estonia tone.  

The level is «low» when propaganda cases regarding Estonia are rare and the coverage is limited to local or Russian channels. Characteristically, then, no propaganda topic or lie stands out clear and strong.

«Moderate» means an increase of Estonia-related writings; some definite propaganda topic related to Estonia emerges and receives broader coverage in international media.

The temperature is «high» when at least three propaganda topics emerge clearly related to Estonia and get broader coverage both in Estonian and international media.

The red or «extreme» level means Estonia is under direct information attacks. The writings are many and intensively covered in international media. That would be accompanied by other anti-Estonia activities such as cyber attacks or real physical actions such as demonstrations etc.

N example of the extreme level, according to  Propastop, would be the April 2007 unrest. Probably noticed by readers yet felt less strongly was the abundance of anti-Estonia media manipulations during the Ukrainian war in 2014 – that was moderate to high.