After A Week Online, NATO's Latest 'Counter-Disinfo' Facebook Game Is A Complete Flop

We might consider this a bit of lighthearted weekend humor, but unfortunately it's all too real and all too lame, especially considering significant funding and resources actually went into this. And given that it's NATO, somebody's tax dollars had to actually foot the bill. But even NBC's write-up of the story comes close to making fun of NATO's latest attempt to combat fake news in pointing out that "reaction... appears to muted".

NATO a week ago launched its newly unveiled "weapon in the disinformation battleground" to counter the big scary Russians and all others bent on manipulating the news toward their own sinister ends, as NBC explains:

Researchers at the defense alliance have developed a Facebook game that they believe can help people to be more discerning when sharing news online.

Initial reaction to the game, which is called The News Hero, appears to be muted. By Friday morning, it had received just 50 likes and one share.

YouTube screengrab from the NATO-created online game "The News Hero"

The online game is designed to be played and shared on Facebook, and far from being some kind of action/spy or historical thriller (which might actually be somewhat interesting among the youth it aims to target), it places gamers in the position of being a news publisher in a professional newsroom

Players have to decide whether the headlines that pass their virtual 'desk' are real or fake. The game's creator's say they're seeking to educate the Western public on how to properly discern real news from fake news or worse, Russian state disinformation campaigns.

The News Hero was developed over a period of four months by a team of eight people at the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Latvia, which bills itself as "focused on countering misinformation campaigns" (yes, the name of this NATO unit is real).

NBC's report noted the developers were not forthcoming with just how much money was spent on the project. 

Here's the brief game primer for 'The News Hero' hosted on an official NATO Stratcom account:

As Stars and Stripes explains, "the user is responsible for putting together a newspaper free of the phony. With the help of trusty assistant Bronco, you decide what is real and what is fake."

Or rather, you decide what NATO wants you to identify as fake, or real, or disinfo, or untrustworthy as a source

The NATO-created "News Hero" Facebook game launched a week ago.

Though the online game launched last Monday — a full week ago — it now has... wait for it... a whopping 3 shares and 123 'likes' as of late in the day Sunday. 

So it appears people aren't even so much as making the effort to share it out of mockery, much less actually playing and promoting the game. 

The News Hero Facebook page describes the rules and objectives as follows: 

To get your company noticed and gain an audience, you must publish accurate news. Pay attention to the hints provided in the Fact Checker screen and verify the incoming stories. With each level becoming increasingly difficult you can hire new assistants and obtain things to customize your office. This will boost performance of your employees and help you earn more. The game is divided into three levels, each informing the player on how to distinguish between the fact and the fiction. Are you up for the challenge? Invite your friends and climb the leaderboard!

And Stars and Stripes explains some of the 'fake vs. true' news scenarios presented in the game as follows

Is Justin Timberlake really an anti-vaccination activist? Did a lady in Detroit really train a squirrel to attack her boyfriend?

In The News Hero, you have to decide — though a fact-checker does most of the thinking for you.

If you’re right, you gain virtual currency and a larger audience as reader trust grows for your news organization. If only it were so easy in the perilous real news world, where profits are elusive and clickbait an ever-growing lure.

One of the two reviews on the game's Facebook page sarcastically quips: OK. So this is the 'push back'. An 'A' for effort!

It's interesting to recall that ahead of and during the NATO summit in Brussels earlier this month President Donald Trump made headlines for berating other NATO member states for not living up to a prior 2014 pledge for member states to reach two percent spending of GDP on defense by 2024.

However, we doubt that the president had such further projects as The News Hero in mind when he called for more NATO defense spending. The online game is clearly a complete and utter flop. 


Shemp 4 Victory CheapBastard Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:28 Permalink


by a team of eight people at the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Latvia

I fucking knew it had to be the Stratcom clown show in Riga. They generate very serious studies costing many bushels of potatoes each. For example, last year they released a 157-page analysis of Russian comedians as Tools Of The Kremlin®.

NATO Pans Russian Humor Contest as Nefarious Kremlin Tool…

Russian Comedians Howl With Laughter Over NATO Claim That They are Kremlin Tool…

Link to the actual report:

This "Center of Excellence" should be moved urgently to the Strenci Psychiatric Hospital. Of all lost Soviet legacy, especially today there is an acute shortage of punitive psychiatry.

In reply to by CheapBastard

IvannaHumpalot GoFuqYourself Mon, 07/30/2018 - 03:11 Permalink

If you think about it properly you will realise that this is baby steps in the right direction.


The government has so far been working with Big Tech to censor everything they consider "fake news" result? anything criticising Islam is removed.


INSTEAD the answer is to teach people critical thinking skills then leave everything open and uncensored. People can think for themselves if they are taught skepticism.


this is a step in that direction we should encourage it not shit all over it

In reply to by GoFuqYourself

Last of the Mi… IvannaHumpalot Mon, 07/30/2018 - 07:28 Permalink

NATO's fb game worked about as well as Hillary's run for president fb game! Some people never learn. fb is over. It's use as some centralized espionage platform to forcibly convert a society to something other than one with constitutional liberties is over. 

Only the completely insane pulling the levers expecting a different result believe in it's power now. fb killed itself. That said, it's is still highly effective at transferring the unwanted crap in your neighbors garage into your own garage. There is that. 

In reply to by IvannaHumpalot

Maghreb Last of the Mi… Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:48 Permalink

I think its a case of "shut it down the goyim know". Too many other outfits have got in on the act and Facebook has become unstable. Started with all the cow boy digital marketing outfits setting up fake accounts to sell Supreme merchandise. Now the analytics firms have figured out how to game the system and the masses are using it to fight back Facebook is becoming a problem for the Deep State.

After it got political with stuff like Pizza Gate and Non-Existent terror attacks its become too dangerous. Its like fucking Skynet now. A product of the Collective unconscious. It can't be controlled or organized by any one player so its becoming a liability. The algorithms that feed content people want to see are restructured on the fly so it regresses to the mean. They can't keep thing reasonable and party political but to be honest thats just the nature of the human experience. The private firms have an agenda but there are too many now.

They can't enclose or regulate the digital commons so they are going to burn it to the fucking ground. Zuckerberg doesn't give a shit because he's got billions stashed but still has to watch out for angry investors if he decides to sabotage the thing from within.

NATO has killed millions of people and acted like they were saving the world. If I need a government overthrown I'll call those bastards up but its not like they are going to tell the truth about anything. Military command chain is just designed to get people to copy and repeat. In a war zone thats fine but thats not how society works outside a state controlled marxist system.

Its a good way to stay in touch and link to people but its only useful if it link you to relevant things in the real world. I think people should stay on the network and continue to cause chaos. Not disinformation just things people don't want to here. Its all about subversion rather than misdirection. Shit on the party line and you shit on the party.

In reply to by Last of the Mi…

Maghreb tmosley Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:35 Permalink

After Iraqi WMD and the Arab Spring NATO have a reputation as the biggest bullshitters on the planet.

Since these events I get my news of David Icke, Bar Room Arguments, 70's music videos and Public Toilet Graffiti and it still makes more fucking sense than the shit they pay to have put in the mainstream media.

Deep State can't meme or keep its story straight for more than an election cycle. You'd have to be retarded or paid off to believe anything they say. Mass Media is just there to pimp the language and rape common sense.

Same story different millennia.....


In reply to by tmosley

Fireman toady Mon, 07/30/2018 - 05:40 Permalink

NATO, North Amerikan Terror Organ, that limp appendage dangling from the Pedophile Politburo in Natostan capital of USSA's flaccid vassal Brussels, seat of the infamous albeit collapsing EUSSR wants to be the global gangster sidekick of the Pentacon thugs but just doesn't want to pay to play. Will the Germans get suckered for a third time into a global war for their anglozionazi bankster masters and the Washing town thugocracy?  Nah...they finally seem to have figured it and STASI agent "Erika" out as the I$I$ "backed" Saudi Mercan IOU petroscrip toilet paper dollah gets flushed from the global Ponzi sewer of the Potemkin Village (idiot) Mercan "economy" of slaughter for profit of the zero 1%.

Meanwhile the financial collapse approaches on both sides of the Atlanticist swamp as the detritus of USSA'S Middle East judaic wars rapes and pillages its way across a seething Europe betrayed by the hag in Berlin and her Soros puppet master.  Syria is where the anglozionazi beast and Pentacon Murder Inc. finally bit off more than they could chew in their serial judaic wars of terror and the rest of humanity sees it for what it is. Meanwhile the emasculated pedophile pawns in Natostan huff and puff at Mr. Bear's doorstep but that is all these cretins will ever do. It is all over bar the inevitable bankrupt collapse of €urolandia and the long awaited civil war reloaded in Slumville USSA.

In reply to by toady

k_as_in_cat Sun, 07/29/2018 - 22:58 Permalink

I'm confused, how is "fake news" created by citizens different to "fake news" created by governments? Do governments really believe that they are the de facto origin of truth? Do they believe that we accept on face value anything they say? Are those figures for GDP, employment and inflation really "real news"? "Fake news", it seems, is like corruption - there can be only one game in town.

With a bit of luck, NATO's game might finally educate people to spot the rampant dis-information created by governments.

VZ58 Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:03 Permalink

"Reminder: News must be Sensational, controversial and spicy"  Yeah like everything we see daily on our sh*t MSM news channels. NATO - another giant lie to fool the masses and wast huge sums of money channelling weapons to foreign organizations and governments.

Someone Else Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:14 Permalink

#37.  "New information reveals that the Kremlin sent a hit team in 1977 to Elvis's bathroom to secretly assassinate him on his toilet, because they hated the US for its freedom, and to insure a domino effect resulting in Trump winning the US Presidency in 2016 and denying Hillary Clinton her rightful victory.   True or False?"


Hmmmm.  The handy included "Fact Checker" says its true.


So.... "TRUE!!!"


Alright!  My newspaper just became fabulously successful!  And I picked up $100 million!  I love this game!








turkey george palmer Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:18 Permalink

Mebe zh could have a game, the player is faced with a swamp where hideous creatures lurk and you must make a circuit of little islands where helpful people can be found and maybe unhelpful people. At each island you read an article and if you are successful in leaving a comment that is anti jhooz or derisive of trumpians you can go to the next island but watch out for the swamp creatures who will make you go back to start if you don't quickly dispatch them by using your pro gold dagger of destruction.

any_mouse Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:27 Permalink

NATO is lucky to have Russia as an enemy, otherwise they'd become obsolete and be deprecated.

Fake news is the Iran Dollar story alleging that US sanctions still work in a multi polar world.

Fake news is any news from UK referring to "Novichok".

There will never be another European land war. The Baltic states should realize that they are nuclear weapon fodder for the Parasites.

The only invasion in Europe will be the ongoing weaponized human wave attack known as "migrants" or "refugees".


Someone Else any_mouse Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:49 Permalink

"Lucky" to have Russia as an enemy?????


I guess as the saying goes.... "You make your own luck."  


Russia is set up as the enemy because NATO NEEDS an enemy.  If it has no enemy it has no reason to exist (and of course the reality is it HAS NO REASON TO EXIST).


NATO is not lucky to have this enemy.  NATO invented Russia as the enemy and does the same daily.

In reply to by any_mouse

beijing expat Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:31 Permalink

Interesting that the whole prop or not fake news BS was created and pimped to the corporate media by....The Atlantic Council, NATOs propaganda organ. What a bunch of totalitarian douchebags  



IvannaHumpalot Sun, 07/29/2018 - 23:49 Permalink

children aged 10 will like it, just like 'where in the world is carmen sandiego'


This is closer to the right approach than censoring is.


they'd get even closer if they just made it about critical thinking - mental ju-jitsu. How to evaluate facts and argument and prevent crap in your brain


what is a statement of fact vs what is a statement of opinion


what is the evidence to verify this?


how credible is the source and why?


but they'll never do that - because learning to think critically also teaches you to question authority. "because i said so" crumbles in the face of "why?" and "what's the evidence for that assumption?".


Governments, and religions, exist because... authority.

newdoobie IvannaHumpalot Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:51 Permalink

I tried to convince my sister in law to start each of her HS history classes with a reading exercise. A quick paragraph of information used in that days lesson and spend 10 min teaching them to pick the necessary info out of the paragraph to answer simple questions. Making the exercise a daily event getting harder over time - over the school year the kids would learn history and how to read. (the school has a failing grade in reading comprehension)


She wouldn't do it - she claimed that common core would not allow that.

(Later she also claimed common core wouldn't allow 5 min of times table work before her Math class)


Is she lazy or is common core so screwed up?

In reply to by IvannaHumpalot