HomeNewsTakedown of pro-US media campaign on Twitter and Meta.

Takedown of pro-US media campaign on Twitter and Meta.

Researchers claim that Twitter and Meta have taken down an internet propaganda operation that promoted US interests abroad from their platforms.
According to a research by social media analytics company Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory, this is the first significant covert pro-US propaganda effort that the internet titans have successfully shut down (SIO).

Numerous accounts used in the campaign in July and August were deleted.

Who is behind the propaganda campaign is unclear.

The researchers claim that although Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, stated that the US was “the nation of origin,” Twitter classified the US and the UK as the “presumptive countries of origin.”

The researchers were clear, though, that just because the corporations mentioned these nations did not always mean they were responsible for the effort.

The SIO informed the BBC that “we do not have the required facts to ascribe this action to a particular country or organization.”

The activity is obviously intended to advance Western interests, notably those of the US and its allies.

The US State Department, the UK government, Twitter, and Meta have all been contacted by the BBC for comment.

Whom did they aim at?
According to Graphika and the SIO, the suspended accounts were targeting audiences in the Middle East and Central Asia in several languages and some of them were created almost five years ago.

According to the researchers, the accounts propagated narratives that sided with the US and its allies while criticizing nations like Iran, China, and Russia.

They discovered that the campaign utilized several of the strategies frequently employed in anti-Western propaganda operations.

These involve developing fictitious personas utilizing photographs that were produced artificially and launching campaigns on various media.

The researchers also discovered that the suspended accounts were active on a variety of other social media platforms throughout the world in addition to Twitter and Meta-owned ones.

Some of the bogus accounts in the pro-US effort pretended to be independent media outlets, just like past disclosed online misinformation schemes targeting the West.

Sometimes they tried to claim ownership of content that was actually taken from reliable sources like BBC News Russian.

The researchers also discovered that the accounts’ messaging varied by area.

For instance, in a campaign aimed towards Central Asia, accounts emphasized applauding US assistance to the area and denouncing Russia for its “imperialist conflicts” in Africa and Syria as well as the deaths of people in Ukraine.

On the other hand, several of the accounts aimed for Iran talked about issues like women’s rights and criticized Iranian authorities and policies.

However, the campaign’s overall performance was very moderate, according to Jack Stubbs of Graphika.

“No more than a handful of likes or retweets” were given to the vast majority of posts and tweets that were examined.

This demonstrates “the shortcomings of employing these unauthentic approaches,” he continued.

Democracies launching such efforts, according to Andy Carvin, managing editor at US think tank the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, would be “ineffective and harmful.”

This is due to the fact that doing so would require employing “the identical tactics utilized by your rivals” and “further weakening public trust,” he continued.

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