Report exposes fake Twitter accounts set up to help smear Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn
Peter Bolton

A major online publication covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has uncovered an attempt to use social media to spread and intensify the notion of an antisemitism crisis within the Labour Party.

An Electronic Intifada investigation has revealed that ten fake Twitter accounts were set up to deliberately post antisemitic tweets. The purpose was apparently to discredit Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party in general. The Electronic Intifada says it’s likely that the same person or group of people created the accounts.

Deceit

The Electronic Intifada points out:

All 10 accounts have engaged in a pattern of deception, presenting as Labour activists while engaging in anti-Semitism. Most have also posted violent incitement and death threats, often against Jews.

It adds:

All 10 posted their most violent and anti-Semitic content as replies to other tweets. This means that many times, a cursory look at the accounts’ profile pages is unlikely to reveal anything immediately objectionable.

Identification unlikely

There is currently no police investigation or court case delving into the matter. So the identity of the culprits is unclear. But the Electronic Intifada has a few theories. It points out that:

Israel has been running both covert and overt efforts against Jeremy Corbyn since he became leader.

And it adds that pro-Israel NGOs have joined forces with the state to launch similar “covert social media campaigns”. In particular, it highlights recent Al-Jazeera investigation The Lobby–USA as an example of where this kind of propaganda campaign has been exposed.

It’s not just the US where this kind of thing is happening, though. Because leaked documents recently revealed an operation with funding links to the British state called the Integrity Initiative. This has involved online attempts to smear or spread disinformation about Jeremy Corbyn.

‘Easy to convey a false impression on social media’

The Electronic Intifada report concludes:

This troll network shows how easy it is for an individual or small group of people to convey a false impression on social media… When the dominant media narrative is so often based on fabricated evidence, a serious reappraisal and extreme caution about future claims are overdue.

Featured image via Twitter

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