Canary journalist who shared antisemitic tropes is linked to 'Russian propaganda' news site

Steve Topple is working for PeaceData, which was removed from Facebook after FBI tip-off


A staff writer for The Canary website who previously shared antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media has been contributing to a news site that has been removed from Facebook and Twitter over claims it is a Russian-influenced network actively targeting the UK.

Steve Topple - who previously said that Jews should be held responsible for the “growing Zionist cancer” – has confirmed on his own social media profile page that he was working as a “columnist” for PeaceData.

A recent article by Mr Topple for PeaceData on Belarus and its exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya saw him brand her as “little more than a Western regime change puppet.”

But in a statement by Facebook on networks that the platform had removed in August, it was confirmed that PeaceData was among 13 accounts excised over links to the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA).

It added that their “activity focused primarily on the US, UK, Algeria and Egypt.”

Facebook confirmed that it had decided to act after receiving a tip-off from the FBI about Peace Data’s “off-platform activity.”

They added their “internal investigation revealed the full scope of this network on Facebook.”

In a statement on September 1, Twitter also confirmed: “We suspended five Twitter accounts for platform manipulation that we can reliably attribute to Russian state actors. As standard, they will be included in updates to our database of information operations in the coming weeks to empower academic research.

“The accounts purported to be associated with a website called PeaceData, which publishes a range of content about global political issues. At least some of the content published on the website was created by real people who appear to have contributed to PeaceData as freelancers.”

Peace Data denies these claims and describes itself as “a global news organization. Our goal is to shed light on the global issues and raise awareness about corruption, environmental crisis, abuse of power, armed conflicts, activism and human rights.” 

In recent articles for The Canary, Mr Topple has attempted to attack Sir Keir Starmer over the new Labour leader’s clampdown on antisemitism and left-wingers associated with Jeremy Corbyn.

He has also previously appeared on Russia Today UK and Al Jazeera and been heard on Sputnik International Radio and Talk Radio Europe.

In 2016 Mr Topple apologised for his “previous comments” relating to Jews and antisemitism including the suggestion  Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was a “puppet” of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, her Jewish predecessor, and the Rothschild family.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones once described him as “ultra-left and sectarian”.

The Canary’s editor Kerry-Anne Mendoza has repeatedly faced allegations of antisemitism – and recently  referenced the infamous slogan above the gates to the Auschwitz death camp in a tweet which read, “Get Brexit done; Build, build, build; Jobs, jobs, jobs; Arbeit macht frei.”

In a statement, PeaceData said “corporate media sources published the articles slandering our independent news site and our authors. These articles claimed that PD is a Russian propaganda tool.

“We’re shocked and appalled!

“We can proudly say that it’s an ugly lie.

“Our news site is created by the people and for the people to spread the word about peace and expose greedy corporate powers and warmongers all over the world. We’re convinced that corporate media and their puppet masters want to destroy our journalism and shut us up forever for speaking truth about them. Don’t believe a single word from them. They hate truth and want it to disappear. We won’t allow them to do it.”

The JC has contacted Mr Topple over his work for PeaceData.



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