Yonder Profile picture
Jul 1, 2018 6 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The #walkaway campaign is an excellent example of how organic discussions about divisive topics are co-opted by domestic extremists and amplified by foreign actors for maximum disruption. 1/n
When we initially spotted #walkaway on Thursday, we determined the discussion was organic. But 4chan's infamous /pol board was already debating how to exploit it. 2/n
We found Twitter accounts with small follower counts benefiting from a huge spike in engagement. But on closer inspection, some of the #walkaway accounts being amplified are clearly fake. One popular account is using a stock image for a profile photo. 3/n
Regardless, as of today, the fake Sofia Vargaros account is still active, and its most successful post has been retweeted over 16K times. The account has seen a 1200% increase in followers. 4/n
Many other accounts have been copy/pasting identical content to create the false impression of broad public support for the #walkaway campaign. 5/n
In addition to the amplification by domestic groups like 4chan and alt-right subreddits, the campaign is also getting a boost from foreign actors. #walkaway is by far the top hashtag amplified by the network of Russia-linked Twitter accounts monitored by #Hamilton68. 6/n

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More from @therealyonder

May 29, 2018
As reported by @nytimes and @wsj, PSY-Group, an Israeli company with ties to Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), partnered with Cambridge Analytica to solicit business from the U.S. government after influencing the 2016 election.

Here's how PSY imitated Americans on social media:
PSY-Group used Facebook to hire American English speakers with political science backgrounds, suggesting that they intended to target Americans for political objectives.
PSY-Group employees also posted job ads on their personal Facebook profiles, including at least one employee, Eitan Charnoff, who was previously the IDF Commander of the Social Media Productions Desk.
Read 13 tweets

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