Team members: Christina Meyenburg ,Dall Christensen, Shefali Bharati, Anna Couturier, Tim Groot, Taylor Geiger, María Fernanda Ibañez Duarte, Natalia Sanchez, Michael, Carlo Gaetano, and Federica Bardelli.


The terms ‘fake health news’ and ‘health misinformation’ both describe the circulation of false or unsubstantiated claims about health. Specially, on Facebook, one finds a plethora of ‘miracle cures for cancer’, ‘detox juices’, conspiracy theories about vaccines, and alternatives treatments that promise to cure life-threatening illness with food and oils. The phenomenon is not niche. In fact, on social media platforms ‘fake health news’ circulate far and fast. For example, “of the 20 most-shared articles on Facebook in 2016 with the word “cancer” in the headline, more than half report claims discredited by doctors and health authorities or – in the case of the year’s top story – directly by the source cited in the article” (ref).
Misinformation has been extensively studied in relation to politics, especially, in the wake of the past US elections. However, when it comes to health, the phenomenon remains understudied. Indeed, while on Facebook, “pseudoscience, snake oil remedies, and medical falsehoods multiply unchecked” they have “received far less attention, despite carrying the potential for immediate physical harm” (here). At hand is a methodological and conceptual opportunity to repurpose the toolbox developed to study political fake news and thus to render the techniques relevant also to health professional and researchers from the health humanities. While the risk of untrustworthy sources has concerned health specialist for some time now and there have been efforts to create literacy, the new media ecosystems invite updating. It is with this in mind, that in this project, we set to map the Internet of miraculous cures using digital methods. In doing so, we see an opportunity to better understand the content and narratives that people encounters online, and the type of advise and claims that patients find when researching their treatments and illness. Also, the study of this ecosystem can offer insights into broader cultures around disease, medicine and personal responsibility, as they are co-constructed between lay people, platform and the salesmen of digital ‘snake oil’ and we can begin to better understand which types of claims drive people, what sources pass as trustworthy, and when and how does trust in medicine begin to fade. Thus we ask, how are narratives about trust and mistrust in medicine constructed? Which type of claims circulate best?


As a point of departure we take the website, Facebook and Twitter accounts of NaturalNews.com. They are both run by “Mike Adams, also known as The Health Ranger” who is “a fierce advocate of alternative medicine [and] “is anti-vaccination, anti-GMO, anti-medicine” (here). Around ‘Natural News’ is an ecosystem of websites, search engines and chat room, including over 50 websites with topics covering alternative medicine, fear of medicine and science, anti-Left and pro-freedom hype, and doomsday prep advice (here). The project was then organized as both an cross-platform analysis, which involves capturing the substance and ‘agenda’ of a given page or account and compare. We refer to the outputs as ‘front pages’ and ask, do different platform tell different stories and we look at them together can be see the a joint agenda? and as across platform analysis, in which we deployed networks of interconnected platforms and sites and also map the circulation of content.

Facebook Analysis

The Facebook datasets for Natural News was collected using Netvizz. The dataset was composed of 1000 posts produced by the page, along with their metadata, ranging from Feb-June 2018. The dataset was reorganized ranked on engagement and the top [number] for each category of media (video, image, post, update) were collected. The facebook page of NaturalNews was arrived through Netvizz data on full stats. The top ten most shared posts were selected and opened up on the website page. Further, crowdtangle was used to discover where they had been shared, the number of followers, the source, interaction and time. By evaluating the pages, we observed that Natural News seeks to appeal audiences far and wide. Instead of determining a particular section, the content is directed toward all “individuals to make positive changes in their personal health” (Facebook, Natural News).

Ostensibly political and ideological pages, such as ‘Reclaim America’, and ‘American Renewal Project’ are observed to share the page’s content. A particular post shared by both these pages was political in nature, criticising the left wing oriented education ethos.

The most shared article on “American” Pages

The other thematic cluster was that of Cancer and Vaccine pages (The Truth About Cancer, Cancer Truth, Vactruth, and The Truth About Vaccines) that propose a conspiracy of pharmaceuticals and the government in masking the dangers of their methods to gain profit. Therefore, the pages are meant to highlight the “Truth” about cancer and vaccination and uncover the “sham” produced by other agencies. As you can notice from the posts shared, the subject overlaps and was shared between the network. In the first image, the two posts vary in their textual framings and contextualisation, however, in the second image the framing was exactly the same.

Vaccine News on non-vaccine related Pages

Anti-Vaccination Article shared by Vaccine and Cancer Page

The sharing of content by such pages indicate the potential audiences. The followers of a page such as ‘Reclaim America’ can be evaluated as conservative, right-winged and patriotic. The followers of the page ‘Donald J. Trump’ are evidently Trump followers. Followers of ‘truth’ pages of vaccines and cancer tend to be aimed at sufferers, patients and parents. The audience on these pages are bombarded by conspiracy theories and anti-establishment articles. It was interesting to note how political, social and economical articles form a large part of natural news and creep into the sharing network of related pages that are furthest away from health, wellbeing and nutrition.

The articles are legitimised using words such as “scientific” “evidence” “research” to come across as genuine and “truthful” claims. GMO Dangers was the second biggest page after natural news itself. The page describes itself as exhibiting “educational programs that empower consumers with information on wellness issues such as disease prevention, nutrition, peak mental and physical health and natural health modalities.” The page targets some of the biggest institutions and individuals in proving their claims of conspiracies.

GMO Dangers Page

In order to further investigate the implications offered by Natural News’ Facebook page, we conducted a qualitative analysis using the following methods.

Facebook Posts Methods:

We used the following steps to analyze content from the Natural News Facebook page:

Step 1: A Netvizz scrape was conducted of the Facebook page posts from February to June 2018. This resulted in a total of 1,000 posts in our full data set. We next filtered for which posts were “shared” the most. To demonstrate the prevalence of the dissemination of information from Natural News’ Facebook page, the top post when filtering in this manner was shared 42,101 times.

Step 2: We used Voyant-tools in order to analyze which words were appearing most frequently within the dataset. We visualized the content through word cloud and focused on the frequency lists. We found out that the words “cancer” (77 times) and “food/ foods” (47/23 times) occurred most frequently on the most shared posts; disregarding those posts with the word natural (48 times), as it often referenced simply the name of the site. We thus selected “cancer” and “food/foods” as our keywords for further qualitative textual analysis.

Step 3: We decided to use two levels of categorization. We selected only those posts in which the word cancer or food/foods appeared within the post text. This gave us a subset of 147 posts to analyze. The first level was for either a “food” or a “cancer” level post. The second level of categorization described the subthemes we saw emerging from the Voyant-tools word clouds and initial inspection of the Facebook posts. These subcategories identified the main topics of the message. In total, we had 11 subcategories. These categories are detailed in Table 1.

Step 4: Using our established list of subcategories, we next read and also viewed the photos and videos associated with our dataset of 147 Facebook posts. Our analysis was thus visual as well as textual. For those posts who made a strong statement in more than one subcategory, we coded them with the two subcategories which were most in line with the message. This resulted in a total of 274 different coded messages. These coded messages formed the foundation of our analysis of the Facebook posts and revealed several aspects of the type of content produced by Natural News on their Facebook page.

Results of Facebook Posts Analysis:

We analyzed 274 different Facebook messages related to our primary themes of “food” and “cancer”. The most frequently occuring subcategory was “claims positive” with 25% of the messages. As seen in the subcategory table, “claims positive” refers to promises made about the benefits of organic food, vitamins, supplements or alternative treatments for different diseases.

The second most frequently occuring category was “claims negative” with 16% of the messages. As seen in the subcategory table, “claims negative” refers to the negative or harmful consequences of certain foods, treatment methods or political actors. Frequently victimized foods with negative foods included processed foods and aspartame; and frequently “claims negative” in relation to cancer focused on the downfalls of traditional cancer treatments.

The third most frequent subcategory was “politics” with 11% of the messages including some sort of political reference, often pointing to specific United State’s government organizations (FDA, EPA) who they identified as being responsible for the spread of cancer and other diseases in the population.

Natural News constructs a well thought communication around what it means “the truth” for this particular segment of society. Mike Adams media outlet identifies themself as a representative of the truth that has been hidden by the government, traditional medicine and mainstream media. “The truth” is constantly in the middle of the discussion and Natural News claims to reveal what the hegemonic power doesn’t want population to know. It also supports the idea of a natural state of human living that has been corrupted by big industrial companies.

Finally, “alternative treatments” were mentioned in 10% of the Facebook messages coded in our data set; which specifically refers to claimed “technological improvements” for treating cancer based on research conducted by unspecified organizations, diets based on fruits and roots with “miraculous” properties, (often sold on the website) which were touted as offering some sort of benefits not able to be treated by traditional medicine. Frequently, “claims negative” and “politics” occur together. Three memorable post messages included: 1) Everything that’s wrong with how our food system is run today...“The Amish: harassed by the FDA for selling raw milk and organic food. Monsanto: receives federal immunity under the Monsanto Protection Act and encouraged to sell GMO's with government subsidies.” 2) Why are they trying to kill us? A deeper look into the mass production of America’s toxic food. 3) 8 reasons to grow your own food. Monsanto uses carcinogen chemicals in their "roundup". avoid illegal pesticide used in other countries banned in the US. home grown food has more vitamins and minerals than store bought food. IRS can't tax food you grow yourself.achievable by traditional medicine. The full breakdown of our coding analysis of the 274 messages by subcategories can be visualized in the pie chart below.

The incredibly high prevalence of “claims negative”, “politics”, and “alternative treatments” within the content of the Natural News website is a clear indication of the way in which Natural News intermixes a political agenda under the guise of a health and wellbeing website. Graph 2, below, visually maps the co-occurence of our subcategories between our two main categories of “food” and “cancer” on the Facebook messages. The size of the nodes indicate the magnitude of occurrences of these subcategories, visually depicting that “claims positive” and “claims negative” occur the most between the two main categories and are fairly evenly distributed between the two categories. The subcategory of “politics” also occurs frequently, but as it is located closer to the food node, we can interpret that “politics” occurs more frequently in messages related to food than in messages related to cancer. Additionally, some subcategories are closely correlated (often occurring) with either food or with cancer; as can be seen in the case of “anti-big pharma”’s proximity to food, and “Anti-medical establishment” and “alternative treatment”’s proximity to cancer.

To further illustrate the intermixing of political radicalism, anti-medical establishment/ pro-alternative treatments, and negative claims against the food industry, we have selected the following three posts as ideal case examples of the kind of content frequently occuring on the Natural News Facebook page feed.

Image 1: Example of Political Radicalism on the Facebook Feed

Source: https://www.facebook.com/35590531315/posts/10155418264881316/

Image 2: Example of Anti-medical establishment message on the Facebook Feed

Source: https://www.facebook.com/35590531315/posts/10155410193936316/

Image 3: Example of Negative Claims against the Food Industry on the Facebook Feed

Source: https://www.facebook.com/HealthRanger/videos/10155235633656316/

These images are an example of how our qualitative textual analysis of the Natural News Facebook posts forge an unnerving connection between health- related info and political worldviews and extremist ideals. Which is an indication of the way in which Natural News intermixes politics with health and wellbeing.

Twitter Analysis

The Twitter dataset is composed of 3214 of tweets produced by @naturalnews, between 1 february - July 9 2018.

We wanted to investigate what kind of hashtags were combined, in order to see both the audience NaturalNews were targeting (by providing hashtags for them to search for), as well ass the topics they linked together with their hashtags.

The co-hashtag was extracted using TCAT and then visualised in a Gephi network. The network had most hashtag that was not connected to other hashtag. This tells that a lot of hashtag we only used in a single tweet, not in combination with other. But in order to investigate the linking between hashtag, the singel hashtags were removed. The most occurring hashtags were:



#Food freedom

#Big pharma


As we can see the two in the top are regarding health issues and the middle ones more political. To see the relation between the hashtags we used Gephi´s modularity classes, too see which hashtags occurred the most together. These classes were then manually investigated to see if the hashtags matched the linkage provided by the modularity class. This was done by querying the hashtags (for each class) in TCAT and extracting the tweet in order to write the content and context the hashtags were put in. After reading the tweets categories was made, to fit the actual content. The final network and the categories can bee seen in the image below:

As seen the most used hashtag were the generic “health”, but combing the other hashtags and the biggest category was defined as health cures/health destroyers. This entails on one hand issues to how to cure a disease or what to eat if you have different physical problems, and on the other hand it tells you who is destroying your health - such as Big pharma and Monsanto. Examples of these kinds of tweet are:

This indicates that tweets related to curing health also often include hashtags connecting with more political agendas such as “Big pharma” or “Monsanto”. Because of this finding we were interested to see which other classes had this more political tone to it. Surprisingly we found that almost all classes, except the orange class (about depression and detoxing) had statements that had a political agenda.

In the Green class the hashtags combined were mostly about medical drugs and anti chemicals. Most tweet here was about how cancer and other diseases can be cured through the use of cannabis, and also about the harm caused by chemicals/GMO. Examples to these, are the following articles linked in the tweets:

This tells us that the site are using the same hashtag combinations both for scaring and giving e.g. cancer opportunities/causations. Which again takes a political stand against present regulations e.g. about GMO.

The blue class, which was mostly about herbs and motivation, was more about justifying than being critical to health topics. The tweet either talks about herbs and their healing functions, as well as writing motivational quotes performed by famous politicians/philosophers etc. Examples of this could be:

An interesting notion here is the right quote. The text “no one is more hated that he who speaks the truth” could be a justification of the hatred towards natural news (the site has been blacklisted in google and been advised against by other sources/sites eg. bigthink.com(https://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/who-do-you-know-who-believes-in-the-most-deadly-kind-of-pseudoscience)). The #WakeUp here is also a political statement which has been used by several people to indicate a need to take action when it comes to the current government's rules/registrations. It is also used in other contexts where the aim is for people to wake up and realise something.

The Black class was mostly related to anti vaccine and statements about how vaccines weren't good as well as help to detoxify if you had gotten a vaccine. Example such as:

This gives a statement about health and governmental decisions, as well as stating facts that would change the mind of the audience into not getting vaccinated. The left title also put in an absurdity about how the state decides too much about your life. A statement that shows the limitations of freedom. Here again the political agenda and criticism are “hidden” or are used in the context of health and thereby justifying its presence.

And the last class containing political statements, the red, was the most direct. It was posting content criticising the government and chemical use. This was an example such as:

The last example sums up the point to take from this co-hashtag analysis. A lot of the hashtags used are associated with expected health recommendations, but most are them are also used in links and tweets criticizing the current government and their laws about vaccine, chemicals and GMO in general. The profile can therefore be seen just as political as health concerned and using the health frame as a way to justify their spread of politically statements.

From these findings it was interesting to see who their audience, or more specific who their followers were. Therefore the follower list was extracted and from that a categorial analysis began based on the bio descriptions from the followers. To find the potential categorize of followers the entire bio from all followers were put into the voyant tool, to see the most emergent words, and then use these words to make categories:

The most appearing words were; Love, Health, Truth, God, Maga (Make america great again), natural, christian, family, spirituality. The top 100 followers (based on tweet count to get the ones who are active on Twitter) were then categorized. This was done by searching for the most appearing words from the first visualisation and seeing what context they were put into. From that the top 100 followers were categories into the following:

Examples of these categories bio were (for anonymous reasons there are not screenshot of their Twitter account, only their bio text):

  1. #MAGA! Please, @realDonaldTrump adresse the effects of Monsanto/Glyphosate/GMO/Fluoride/Vaccines/Chem Trails. No more common core in schools! PTL #KAG

  2. Christ follower+Wife+Mom+Gran #Writer #Blogger Army Ret. Spouse (TUSAB MDW) Married a musician! #Plantbased Natural #Health family, popcorn & #Travel #MAGA

  3. Always question the official narrative. You may soon realise we are all being lied to. Divided are we weak.

  4. I want the truth. All of ot. I don't care how ugly it is. MAGA. MEGA. Bye Bye establishment http://gab.ai/C_truth #Qanon

  5. God fearing, Freedom loving, American´s

  6. Greek Orthodox Follower of Christ. AntiPorn. Jesus Christ is Coming Soon! Are You Ready? The clock is Ticking. The Time Is Short!

From this we can see that a lot of the followers are related to words such as; veteran, maga, patriot, anti government, god and health. From this it would seem that the top 100 followers could be categorized as religious, right winged and Trump supporting or conspiracy theorizing. Attitudes that seems aligned with the political statements given in the tweets from Natural News. This tells that the audience are politically explicit as well and the top 100 audience therefore seems to share the same beliefs as the Twitter account “ @RealNaturalNews”.

From this categorization and Twitter analysis there was some clear types of tweets. The most common were about health cures and about health threats. The threats mostly connected with political agendas/statements. The Twitter account is therefore both used for political purposes as well as health cure spreading. And the threats are often associated with political content as well. A combination mostly seen through the use of hashtags such as #health together with #GMO or using statements in hashtags such as #healthfreedom in political statements. This amount of political use is not naturally expected to exist within a natural health news account. But as seen the agendas appear in most of the tweets and are therefore coerente and not just retweets or accidental.

Therefore the Twitter account by @RealNaturalNews has a political agenda and are using health topics as a way of mediating them to their audience.

Website Analysis

We then turned our analysis to the site itself. In order to get a grasp on the narrative being constructed by Natural News, we wanted to better understand the popularity of certain content as well as the major thematic categories that developed across this content. Additionally, we aimed to map relationships between themes using thematic sub-categories.

The domain, www.naturalnews.com, was queried for the top 200 results using Google Scraper in order to view the top pages as ranked by Google search. These results were then coded into the top 7 thematic categories that were developed by the group across all analysis.

Category Name


Food-related, ingredient relate




channel info, page info, alternative ways to interact


Specifically political articles

medicinal treatments

non-traditional medicine

women's issues

Pregnancy, women’s health, birth control


traditional medicine, medical establishment, established treatments

Table 1

Within these categories, we then coded each result for subcategories based on narrative themes that, while important, were not the primary narrative category of each article. The purpose of this was to map the interrelated themes within the content.



(cabbage, carrots, blueberries)


Solely-cancer related

claims positive

(cure, help, treat, solve, well-known things such as food, spices, tumeric, smoothies, how-tos)

claims negative

negative consequences of "fake food" sustances, aspartane, sweeteners, processed meat


(China, Trump, Democrats, FDA, EPA, "the food industry"


(everyting about fake food, about plastic, Monsanto, chemicals)

anti-big pharma

(Big Tobacco)

alternative treatment

(medicine, vitamins, supplements, pills, shakes, powders)

anti-medical establishment

(against hospitals, doctors, vaccines, anti-healthcare)


Water supply, soil health

anti-mainstream media

Major news networks, suppression of “alternate media”, media bias

Table 2

The results were then used to create a heatmap video showing the distribution of narrative themes across the site as well as the distribution of subthemes and their internal relationships.

The video can be viewed here.

In order to get an additional view of the narrative themes within Natural News, the site was then queried using Google Scraper using three general theme categories: Food, Medicinal Treatments, and Politics. Within these general themes, a number of keywords were produced and then queried within the site. From these results, tag clouds and a network of clouds was produced in order to capture new connections and keywords.


Medicinal Treatments




















A few examples of the word clouds created by these narrative terms are listed below:





From these two streams of analysis, we found a number of interesting findings.

  • Natural News makes a strong thematic connection between politics and food and medicinal. Narratively, they are all within the same combative environment in which there are clear values associated with the “natural” and the “establishment”.

  • When the articles were positive claims they did so about products, when negative they included political actors who they associated with the negativity. From the results they appear to be a narrative of ‘the natural’.

  • Women’s issues were most likely to include the sub-category of alternative treatments. When we investigated this further, there was an additional theme of “return to womanhood” within these articles. A further area of investigation could be pursued in order to map the site’s narrative approach to women vis-a-vis the perceived negative impact of feminism and modernity.

  • The site seeks to discredit established medical and governmental organisations however they use the same methodological and “signposting” terminology as used in scientific research. This may have some impact on the creation of “legitimacy” and “authority” claims that the site makes.

Examples of Natural News article pages

Across-platform: health news as audience and machine.

Jonathan Jarry, of Montreal’s McGill University, claimed in this article https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/quackery/mike-adams-building-alternate-reality-online that Adams was constructing an entire self-contained world on the internet. He provided a list of 50 domains in his article which we decided to investigate ourselves. The original image is pictured below:

  • The audience

    • Facebook neighborhoods

    • Twitter network of followers

    • Right-wing advertisers

    • Right-wing bloggers

    • Health and wellness conspiracy theorists

    • Those interested in health and wellness, and potentially receptive to anti-left, anti-establishment narratives

Categorisation of original 50 website target groups according to our original estimations of their weighting in the overall network.

HUB sites:











HUB sites spam you with a very aggressive sign-up form, Adam’s prominently features his mug shot wherever he can, he wants to be seen.

Fear of mainstream science and medicine














Fear of Mainstream media








Conspiracy theory and apocalypse fears





Food and fitness


http://www.healingfoodreference.com/ http://www.herbreference.com/ http://www.nutrientreference.com/








  • The (mis)construction of credibility

    • One comes to health news for the health ends up with the politics.

      • Linking to right wing sites. Always two nodes aways from the alt-right

    • The (mis)construction of credibility

      • Shady link URL structure

        • Accurate metadata from scientific articles which doesn't link to them. Instead loops to his own site by co-opting the (pubmed) PMID

        • Penalized by Google in 2017 for redirecting mobile phone visitors to dubious sites with the URLs of his ‘legitimate’ domains

      • Links to site placeholders

        • Links to a lot of “coming soon” or simply empty sites such as https://www.endsciencecensorship.org which have their message either in the URL already, or are meant to simply squat on domains with.

        • Uses different URL wrappers to link to the same site, making it look as if there are more sites than there actually are. Examples are that herbreference.com, nutrientreference.com and supplement reference.com are all dummy sites linking to healingfoodreference.com. They only substitute the website banner at most.

        • Uses landing pages that seem innocuous, but then prompt the visitor to the true site, which is often much more shady

      • Awards himself via organisations he’s involved in

        • Awards for outstanding independent journalism awarded by a gala he sponsored

        • Products certified by his own ‘laboratory’

        • Testimonies by advertisers dependent on his whims for their ranking by his google alternative’s advertising

The network

Step 1: Snowball and colink issuecrawler of HUB sites to find more parts of the network

In order to be as comprehensive as possible, we opted to do a co-link of the entire 50 domain set, and snowballs of both the health ranger and natural news HUB sites.

Network 1

50 websites


List 1

Network 2





List 2

Network 3






List 3

Step 2: cleaning up the datasets

Due to Adam’s networking practises a lot of links were either dummy URL’s or placeholder sites. Aggressive use of javascripts and newsletter prompts caused errors in the issuecrawler.

List 1 + list 2 + List 3 = clean expanded list to be explored… was the initial intent. Manual sorting was unfortunately necessary.

The two examples above are to illustrate these issues we had with the way that Adam’s online practises obfuscated and complicated our initial attempts at snowball and co-link analysis via the Issuecrawler. On top of excessive Javascript, link hijacks, and dead links breaking the issue crawler, initial findings often gave us massive, all consuming nodes which made it impossible to investigate the correlation between clusters or sub-groups.

Step 3: Further analysis

  • We knew of 50 websites, what else might there be?

Verified sites were run through a reverse google analytics and AdWorks search producing the following results:

  • healthrangerreport: 628 domains are using the Google analytics ID ua-1417413, several of these ID’s have Chinese address descriptions. This site was built with the website design tool GoDaddy.com, note that this website is presumed to be unrelated as of this time, merely seeming to be sued by Adams to expedite the creation of some of his websites.

  • Naturalnews & Naturalpedia: 17 domains use the Google analytics ID UA-216614, promisingly all of these are known in our initial list, though some new faces also show themselves. it has a Russian description. Associated with the company Codero, and the IP address

  • Talknetwork: 317,170 domains use Google analytics ID UA-2522429 quite a shock, the time window of this project prevented further filtering of this massive amount, it is hypothesized that not all domains linked to this ID belong to Adams, if they do, the safe assumption can be made that he is part of a much larger collective, as one person cannot set up this many domains, no matter how fanatical.

  • Natural news is squatting on 39 permutations of its domain names, Health Ranger on 9

Interestingly, a large number of sites, including HUB sites, did not have google analytics or AdWorks ID’s. After further research we discovered that this was due to the the ads on them being from Adam’s Google alternative Good Gopher.

Cleaner results ended up allowing us to produce graphs such as this the example pictured below. Visible here is the dominance of an alt-right site known as thenationalsentinel.com which had a large amount of links to and from it to other parts of the network. Though confusing to look at and discern much from a glance, our central discovery was that alt-right sentiments were the closest to the center, or large and influential enough to take up their own zone near the outside of the big web pictured below. Adam’s domains, surprisingly, were not the largest in many cases, but they were the most well connected, inconspicuously hiding between larger nodes at times, but never more than 2 nodes away from obviously alt-right domains such as the aforementioned thedailysentinel.com

A disclaimer: we used Gephy to make this graph look like an actual planet to explore the veracity of the claims made by Jarry. That the data would lend itself so well to this was not something we expected or planned for. The discovery of its overall structure and relative distance between Adams and alt-right domains was also a surprising discovery, as was the prevalence of commercial interests in an initiative ostensibly meant to ‘fight the system.’

Step 4: co-link analysis of the partner list provided by Good Gopher which looked like this:

The results were cross-referenced with the cleaned datasets from step 3. Pictured below is a visualisation of the average distance (in nodes) between Adam’s domains such as naturalnews.com, and known alt-right domains. As shown, there is never more than 2 nodes distance between Adams and the alt-right.


We found Adam’s network to have alternatives for most mainstream platforms and functionality:

  • Healthranger.com: one of the primary sites on which Adams promotes his Health Ranger Persona

  • NaturalNews.com the main portal for Adam’s lifestyle and wellness ‘news’

  • Naturalpedia.com: the alternative for Wikipedia

  • Talknetwork.com: the alternative for TED

  • Share.naturalnews.com: the alternative to Facebook

  • Goodgopher.com: the alternative to Google

  • cwslabs.com : the alternative to the American FDA

  • Science.naturalnews.com: scrapes the American National Institute of Health’s PubMed database, populating the natural news portal with the metadata and abstracts of legitimate papers. Links to the articles loop back to the natural news pages.

  • Healingfoodreference.com: the alternative to dieticians and general practitioner’s advice

  • Truthpublishing.com: the alternative for book publishers

  • Arialsoftware.com: automated mailing list software, used to field Adam’s aggressive newsletter initiative

  • Different platform different agendas? Our results would prove this not to be the case. On the contrary, they showed that Adams had a very clear alt-right agenda, which he used his many domains and channels to convey these views. We found his health and wellness facade to be surprisingly thin, as noted earlier to never be more than two clicks/nodes away from alt-right propaganda.

  • Overarching narratives emerged quickly, matching our Facebook and Twitter findings, but additional commercial layers also presented themselves. Adams utilized a two pronged approach of selling a wide variety of ostensible health products and apocalyptic survival to those in the market for them. He also monetized the size of his alt-right ecosystem by selling ads to those whom either distrusted or were rebuked by mainstream advertising platforms such as Google. To that end, we believe part of his efforts to artificially inflate the perceived measure of his reach, is to seem more appealing to Ad buyers, and more authoritative to potential buyers of his products and of his world views.

  • Who is the audience? The primary audience was the alt-right, with health and wellness used as bait to lure in those people whom may not directly believe in alt-right ideals, but may be susceptible enough to being turned through the avenue of a supposed health and wellness guru. What was particularly noteworthy was the discovery that it wasn’t just consumers that Adams was trying to wrap up in his ecosystem; aside from his own sites, Adams promoted a lot of alt-right bloggers, and alt-right webshops. He also seems to have at least a partnership of some sort with alt-right sites such as Breitbart, by featuring them on his search engine’s home page as such. So we can speak of a two pronged approach of trying to reach as large a target audience as possible to sell products and narratives to, and then to use the size of this network, real or inflated (as we saw from the number of dubious practises such as dummy URLs) to attract advertisers that either can’t or won’t advertise with mainstream advertisers such as Google, but who still want to reach as many customers as they can.

  • Health and nature of the media machine? We have wonder as to the health and nature of a media machine where such extreme, openly combative, potentially lethal views can be disseminated as facts. As we discovered, Adams has created, or is far more likely a cog in the wheel, of a massive anti-information world within the internet. This has been allowed to prosper due to the intense paranoia that many individuals appear to feel towards the mainstream media and corporate world. Jarry’s claims of Adams trying to create his own world were thus supported by our findings, somewhat to our surprise. Initial apprehensions of hyperbole were quickly put to bed. The scope of this project of course did not permit us to thoroughly follow up on every lead, but we can at least be safe in the conclusion that this is indeed a vast, and far reaching anti-establishment infrastructure regardless of how many real people believe it vs. bots or dummy accounts on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.


  • The politicization of and through wellbeing

  • Strategies for credibility

  • The creation of new terms and mythologies

  • Monetization of Fear and Paranoia

  • Monetization of the Alt-right

NataliaSanchez - 31 Jul 2018
Topic revision: r1 - 31 Jul 2018, NataliaSanchez
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