Fact Check: NAFO Does NOT Include Members Of NATO And Is NOT Financed By CIA

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: NAFO Does NOT Include Members Of NATO And Is NOT Financed By CIA No Proof

Does the North Atlantic Fella Organization (NAFO) comprise members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), while being funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? No, that's not true: NAFO is a decentralized online movement that creates dog memes as a response to Russian propaganda and as a thank you to people who donate to Ukraine and other causes. There is no proof that it is connected to NATO, while being funded by the CIA is an accusation that the group sometimes mocks in its online posts. The CIA budget is not public.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok on November 29, 2023. It has since been removed, but is archived here. The title of the video was (translated from Romanian to English by the Lead Stories staff): "What is NAFO yooo!? Who funds this sort of thing?"

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-12-06 at 16.59.22.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Dec 6 14:59 2023 UTC)

The speaker shows the English Wikipedia page on NAFO on a computer monitor and claims that NAFO includes members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, current and former NATO members, and that the CIA funds the group in order to "fight Russian propaganda."

The focus of this article is to fact check whether NAFO includes NATO members, and whether the CIA funds it.

NAFO -- the North Atlantic Fella Organization -- has no connection to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization other than playing with its name, according to the Wall Street Journal and other media and internet sources. It was founded in May 2022 by Kamil Dyszewski as part of a fundraising initiative: making dog avatars with the popular Shiba Inu meme for people who had donated to the Georgian Legion, a volunteer military unit in Ukraine which has been integrated into the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The group is an ad hoc collection of cybernauts who post on social media to support Ukraine and channel donations to causes that buy equipment for soldiers or support humanitarian aid campaigns.

The theory that the CIA finances NAFO is a self-deprecating joke among X users, according to a September 4, 2022, article on the website of Germany's national public television ZDF. Jokes about CIA funding were first published by Polish X user Kama Kamilia, who posted a series of such tweets starting in June 2022. The joke was adopted by some NAFO members who changed their X profiles to display their location as Langley, Virginia, the location of the CIA's headquarters.

As for the CIA budget, "it is a matter of record that CIA funds are contained only in Defense Department appropriations, and any member [of Congress] who wants to know which specific line items are involved can readily obtain that information, on a confidential basis," according to a CIA document from July 1975.

Lead Stories has reached out to NATO and the CIA with regard to this claim and will update this story accordingly if we receive a response.


  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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