Pro-Iran Twitter accounts tend to anti-Semitic hatred amid Israeli-Hamas escalation: researchers
EXCLUSIVE: A group of professionalsIran Twitter the accounts flooded the platform with “massive outbreaks of outright anti-Semitism” and disinformation, enough to make it trending, because Israel stepped up military strikes against Tehran-backed Hamas terrorists in Gaza, responsible for launching hundreds of rockets at civilian targets this week, according to a nonprofit and politically neutral research institution.
the Network contagion research institute, or NCRI, unveiled its findings, showing a coordinated effort to push hateful content that called for “Death to Israel” and claimed “Hitler was right.”
“What you have are enemy regimes that use the means of open discourse, of freedom of expression, in order to undermine democracy, even as they finance terrorist organizations that attack democracy”, Joel Finkelstein, director and co-founder of NCRI, told Fox News on Friday.
The group follows disinformation and radicalization on social media, using data science to detect and expose suspicious activity.
The hate speech trend coincided with violent disturbances in Israel between Arab and Jewish civilians and appeared to aim to influence public opinion in the United States and other Western countries, the researchers said.
“The NCRI knows and has shown that the use of ethnically motivated hate in the form of memes mobilizes real-world violence,” Finkelstein said. “And it is very dangerous for democracy.”
As Fox News reported, clashes between crowds of Jews and Arabs in mixed cities of Israel erupted after dark this week – with reports of shootings, stabbing and stabbing. beatings and arson against businesses and vehicles. At the same time, the IDF is involved in its biggest battle with the Gaza-based terror group Hamas since the 2014 war.
“What we saw is that this time you coordinated an inauthentic activity that succeeded in creating an explicit ethnic hatred tendency capacity,” Finkelstein said. “It’s remarkable that Twitter has this vulnerability.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to Fox News requests for comment, but it appears to have taken action, cracking down on hashtags, including “# Covid1948”, which combined the year of Israel’s founding with the deadly global pandemic , and closing inauthentic accounts – the most prolific of which were created together in April 2020.
Activity had increased rapidly around noon on Wednesday, according to data collected by the NCRI, with the most active accounts tweeting and retweeting anti-Semitic hashtags up to 150 times per hour.
He slowed down that night, although hashtags remained in fashion. Twitter suppressed the activity a full day later, after the NCRI said it shared its findings with the social media giant and Fox News requested comment.
The researchers said that although the all self-identified coordinated accounts were Iranian or Persian, it was not immediately clear whether another group or government was behind the effort.
What was clear was that the inauthentic coordinated activity was specifically designed to spread anti-Semitic hate speech and exacerbate violence against Israelis and other Jews around the world.
“They are funding operations to drop missiles on civilians,” Finkelstein said. “They are dropping memes that lead to a kinetic (violent) result, both on the ground when missiles drop, in the form of angry mobs and now also in the form of mutual mistrust and ethnic hatred. at home and abroad. ”
The accounts also pushed the phrase “Kill all the Jews” and included images reminiscent of Nazi propaganda portraying Jews as “rats and vermin,” according to the NCRI, which shared screenshots of the content. before it was deleted. And they added this hate speech to the hashtag “#FreePalestine”, a separate movement for Palestinian independence.
“All we know is that the false leadership is pro-Iranian, and it was coordinated in the airstrikes, in the missile strikes, and in Israel’s retaliation,” a former representative. Denver rigglemanthe chief strategist of the NCRI Center for Disinformation Defense and a former military intelligence officer said on Friday. “Whether it’s Russia claiming to be Iran – or Iran saying they’re Iranians or Chinese claiming to be Iran – doesn’t really mean a hill of beans.”
He said it was “frightening” that Iranian-backed Hamas militants, and potentially the Lebanese group Hezbollah, could coordinate rocket attacks with an international digital push designed to demonize the Israelis, the destruction of which had left him behind. Iran’s supreme leader demanded.
“Iran is not only a state sponsor of terrorism kinetically, which is bombs and bullets, but not kinetically, which is computers, social media and electrons,” Riggleman said. “That’s the problem here … that they have the ability to organize and coordinate in real time, during hostilities.”