Online propaganda campaigns in Yemen, Iraq and other US-affiliated countries: Meta
LONDON: An online propaganda campaign targeting Middle Eastern countries, including Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Syria, is linked to the US military, tech firm Meta claims.
In its latest Hostile Threats Report, the company found that the networks that coordinated the campaign used fake social media accounts to promote pro-Western narratives, and after an independent investigative group reported the profile to Facebook’s parent company, 8 It said it was removed in May.
The report’s findings state: , and Yemen.
The social media giant says its 39 Facebook accounts, 16 Facebook pages, 2 groups, and 26 Instagram accounts are ‘moderated’, a term used to describe account moderation and adoption of publishing technology. It said it was removed for violating its policy on “abusive behavior”. Promote and spread false content.
It is believed to be the first campaign of its kind and was designed to discredit Russia, China, Iran, and other countries while promoting American views and values.
The tactics employed by US networks were similar to those used in anti-Western campaigns, including using fake people and disseminating artificially generated photos across multiple platforms.
“People behind this activity, mostly in Arabic, Persian and Russian, talk about news and current events such as fears of terrorism and praise of the U.S. military, as well as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. I posted about content, some of which have been removed for violating our misinformation policy,” the report added.
Experts believe the campaign had little effect and its reach was very limited, but Meta said the manipulation was carried out on a number of Internet services, including Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, VKontakte, and Odnoklassniki. claimed.
“Although the people behind this operation attempted to hide their identities and cooperation, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the U.S. military,” Mehta said in a report, adding, “This operation The vast majority of posts are from genuine communities.”
The report appeared to confirm earlier speculations made by various media outlets that US forces were behind the campaign.
In September, the Pentagon launched a detailed investigation into overseas social media activity after reports that the White House and other government officials were becoming increasingly concerned about the use of covert online warfare and influence operations. ordered.
According to Congress, such covert operations risked undermining America’s credibility by evoking the propaganda campaigns authoritarian governments use to promote their agendas at home and abroad.
The U.S. Department of Defense said, “We were aware of the report issued by Meta, but have no further comment at this time on the report or any action that the Department of Defense may take as a result of the report.”