Shady Drudge Report source DNyuz exposed

May 24, 2020

Hucksters has exclusively exposed the owners of the increasingly popular DNyuz.com website that publishes thousands of news stories without any bylines, authors, or credits. Despite the total lack of transparency, the website has become one of the main sources for the web’s leading news aggregator, Drudge Report, which has been popular among the right-wing for many years.

The owner of DNyuz is Hayk Karapetyan, an Armenian citizen who has run a web design business for several years. He is also the founder of A1.AM, a lifestyle website in Armenia.

Despite maintaining a very private online presence — hiding his face on social media, etc — our team was able to track him down as the owner and developer of DNyuz using OSINT research methods.

We’ve also been able to conclude that while most of the articles on the site lack information about the authors, photographers, and so forth, nearly every article in fact appears to be copied from well known media sources online. In fact, if you scroll through the various WordPress “authors” on DNyuz (there are 240+ authors at time of publishing this post) then you quickly recognize most of the sources of the content as well known websites such as New York Times, The Drive, and otherwise, many of which are favorite Drudge Report sources.

For many years, Drudge has linked to third-party mirrors of these outlets that legally republished their articles, such as Yahoo News, MSN.com, and others, in order to avoid the paywalls that some of the original sources put up for non-paying users (sometimes even putting up a paywall on a story after they’ve realized that it has been highlighted on Drudge).

However, in the case of DNyuz, the site is clearly illegally scraping (copying) articles from their original sources, stripping all credits and bylines out, and publishing the pieces in full, in an obvious violation of international copyright laws.

We assume that Drudge discovered DNyuz by copy and pasting snippets of certain articles into Google search in an effort to see if any other sites had mirrored the content.

In the last few years, Drudge has lost a large amount of fans after he rather overtly shifted his news coverage from pro-Trump to anti-Trump. His Alexa Rank (traffic) dipped repeatedly due to the backlash among his formerly loyal userbase, but he went public to defend his decision, claiming that his traffic has “never been better”.

Many hobbyists, [former] fans, and conspiracy theorists have taken to sites like Reddit, 8Kun, and blogs to try and figure out why Drudge became obsessed with linking DNyuz in recent months, with some users even accusing Israel, the US Department of Defense, or Russia of running the site for disinformation purposes, and/or having registered the domain in Armenia to avoid common anti-Russia firewall rules.

Turns out, it’s just a talented web developer from Armenia looking for some quick Adsense cash.

But the question remains: why is Drudge partnering with a clearly illegal content farm, and why does the relationship seem so cozy?



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