Read Local, Influence Global

As local news outlets contract, it creates opportunities for outlets that often have the appearance of traditional local news outlets, to move in and sow misinformation in a variety of ways.

Phil Napoli, public policy professor, Duke University

An article is actively being circulated on a popular Reddit forum today regarding alleged election-related fraud in the U.S. state of Nevada. (link to mirror)

At first glance, the site “360NewsLasVegas[.]com” raises suspicions about its legitimacy with respect to journalism and I quickly recalled multiple recent articles discussing a potential vulnerability associated with an individual’s likelihood to place more trust in a “local” news source versus a mainstream or national-level source of news. This site’s domain and title indicate that it is a local-focused news site for its readers, and thus may fit the profile of these aforementioned misinformation campaigns.

A quick lookup of the site’s domain name found that it’s registered through GoDaddy and was created in May 2018. Additionally, a reverse lookup of the domain name found that the hosting source of the site, too, is maintained by GoDaddy (IP address:

A review of the site’s HTML code finds that it operates on an instance of WordPress:

WordPress version 5.5.3 is the most recent release at the time of this writing

At this point, there aren’t any strong indicators that this site is part of a foreign-operated misinformation campaign. One item of interest on the site is the prominent Facebook “button” located on the site’s right sidebar, which links the user to a “360Daily[.]net” Facebook page (link to mirror). Side note: 360Daily[.]net, created in 2017 per the domain’s whois data, is also registered at GoDaddy and shares both the same whois data and host IP address. Something of interest about this link, though, is that the page indicated in the URL: “Newsmaxtvvegas.”

A quick once-over of the linked Facebook page leads me to believe that both the page and the 360NewsLasVegas[.]com and 360Daily[.]net pages are all linked to Newsmax Media.

One additional detail noticed about the 360NewsLasVegas[.]com posts was that all of the examined posts on the site list Rob Lauer as the author. An image search for “rob lauer vegas” yielded two top-ranked results including an image of the individual, connecting the identity of the anchor seen in the Facebook page’s header video to the author listed on the aforementioned news articles/posts. Also, these image results also include a stillframe from what appears to be a NewsmaxTV broadcast or stream, including Rob Lauer as the anchor.

Top image results from DuckDuckGo[.]com

Perhaps this discovered site isn’t some foreign-run misinformation operation after all, or at least that’s the feeling I have after this more in-depth research. I wouldn’t consider this a reputable news source, however, since it seems that the news articles on the 360NewsLasVegas[.]com are written solely by this one individual. I’m also gauging this based on the content of some of these news articles, where the platform is seemingly used at times as a vehicle for personal motives–not for news.

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