Investigations reveal “collusion” between the US military and Twitter to mislead public opinion in the Middle East

Investigations reveal “collusion” between the US military and Twitter to mislead public opinion in the Middle East

2022-12-22 05:25

Investigations reveal collusion between the US military and Twitter to mislead public opinion in the Middle EastShafaq News/ The British “Middle East Eye” website stated, on Thursday, that the social networking site “Twitter” has worked secretly for years, in cooperation with the US military, to amplify its propaganda news throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, despite Twitter’s pledge to curb Advertising campaigns implemented by the governments of countries through the platform.

In a report translated by Shafaq News agency, the British website stated that this information is based on investigations originating from internal documents from “Twitter” carried out by the American website “The Intercept”, which was the first to publish about it, and it is investigations that reveal how officials in “Twitter” helped in Granting greater propaganda opportunity to accounts affiliated with the US Central Command to influence the formulation of public opinion in countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Kuwait and others.

“white” accounts

The report indicated that these operations were carried out through “white” accounts on “Twitter” at the request of the US government, which helps them avoid the random “filter” targeting tweets, which enhances their ability to reach a larger segment of followers.

The report quoted the content of one of the documents, where a US military official spoke to an employee on “Twitter”, saying sarcastically that “it is difficult to carry out operations on the Internet, when you are not able to tweet.”

The report pointed out that this mutual discussion continued between the two parties, as the US military official put forward 6 accounts on “Twitter”, requesting that some of them be verified with the blue mark, and that the other accounts be kept “white”, that is, without blue verification, in order to contribute to “amplifying” certain targeted propaganda messages.

accounts with “special status”

He added that in all, US officials asked Twitter to grant at least 52 accounts a special status, indicating that among these accounts, an account dedicated to Yemen news under the name @yemencurrent, published news that US drone strikes in Yemen were causing casualties. Minutes, an allegation that has been disproved, and the account is currently deleted.

It is noteworthy that estimates speak of the killing of about a thousand people in raids carried out by US forces’ drones over two decades.

Exception America

The investigations of “The Intercept” show that “Twitter” introduced a new feature in 2017 that would specifically meet the needs of the US military, indicating that even if an account does not obtain the blue authentication mark officially, it is still able to enjoy the benefits of a verified account without That the public interacting on the platform be able to see this.

The report stated that the US government was accused earlier this year of sponsoring a digital campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms, targeting the Middle East and Central Asia, with the aim of promoting Western-biased accounts of events.

The report pointed out that these accounts were mainly focused on Iran and Afghanistan, and an Arabic-speaking group that includes sub-groups from Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

However, the report said that the “Twitter” and “Facebook” platforms, during the past July and August, closed dozens of accounts because they violated their policies related to “platform manipulation and spam.”

Despite this, the information indicates that “Twitter” was behind the scenes coordinating with the US authorities in order to secure protection for its accounts while at the same time it was moving against other countries carrying out similar activity through the Internet.

In this context, the report stated that Twitter announced in 2020 the freezing of 7,340 accounts linked to Turkey as part of the global platform’s campaign to curb “state-related information operations”, in addition to Twitter’s efforts to curb accounts linked to the Russian and Chinese countries, which is what It prompted the Turkish government at the time to accuse Twitter of being a “propaganda machine with certain political and ideological tendencies.”

In conclusion, the new documents show how the rules and standards that Twitter applied to other countries involved in its own information management campaigns were not also applied to the United States government.

The report concluded by saying that the new documents are the first to reveal how “Twitter” is aligned with the goals of US foreign policy.