How Russia Today Skirts High-Tech Blockade to Reach U.S. Readers

On any given day over the past two years, visitors to the home page of RealClearPolitics were likely to see its famous average of political polls, a roundup of news and center-right commentary—and, near the bottom, a link or two to stories from RT.com.

The provenance of the RT headlines was obscured. Readers didn’t immediately know they were clicking on headlines from a Russian state-backed publication that American intelligence officials considered the Kremlin’s “principal international propaganda outlet.” The news organization, once known as Russia Today, was a central player in Russia’s efforts to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of the Russian efforts created a backlash against social-media companies, which were accused of providing platforms for a misinformation campaign aimed at influencing voters.

Facebook Inc.,

Twitter Inc.

and others have since implemented changes to limit the reach of state-run media.

Yet RT continues to draw

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