New Media Frontier Profile picture
Apr 24, 2018 16 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ Last week the @BBC posted a story about Sarah Abdallah [at]sahouraxo, and Vanessa Beeley [at]vanessabeeley, some of the leading voices casting doubts around the chemical weapons attack in Douma and supporting the pro-Assad narrative.
2/ This thread will look at amplification accounts supporting Sarah and Vanessa, and the false flag narrative. New Media Frontier has identified 4 accounts that illustrate a larger @Twitter network spreading disinformation and shaping the debate around recent events.
3/ When looking at Sarah Abdallah's recent account activity we see a strong push of American false flag content (right and left), with account tagging in an attempt to build stronger connections to the US information space.
4/ Sarah posts familiar pro-Assad propaganda content, recently focusing on Syrian Christians and women's equality in an attempt to connect the dots between liberalism, and the Assad regime. Unsurprisingly, Sarah is also an advocate for Julian Assange.
5/ Vanessa Beeley is more UK/European focused with an anti-media agenda. Vanessa has a smaller following than Sarah, however, she is actually visible and makes regular t.v. appearances. Vanessa is a leading critic of the White Helmets and frequent guest on RT.
6/ Vanessa and Sarah have strong interactions with [at]RussiaConnects, which pushes pro-Putin, pro-Assad content and tweets an average of 84k times a year. This account is followed by several Russian gov't accounts, including the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C.
7/ [at]catoletters covers the US isolationist narrative and heavily promotes the Ron Paul Institute and Senator Rand Paul. The interactions between this anonymous account and the Ron Paul Institute are so consistent that it could be directly connected to the controversial NGO.
8/ [at]catoletters mostly posts video clips, however, we also see pro-Assad content that follows a consistent narrative that attempts to convey liberalism, public support within Syria and women's empowerment.
9/ [at]whitehelmetsEXP is anonymous accounts with strong links to Sarah and Vanessa, primarily focused on delegitimizing the #whitehelmets and attempting to connect the rescue workers to ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
10/ Additionally, [at]whitehelmetsEXP frequently attacks researchers working on disinformation and computational propaganda, including @benimmo and @JulianRoepcke - in one post drifting into the Ukrainian conflict.
11/ The last account we looked at was Suzie Dawson [at]suzi3d, an influencer connected to the Occupy movement, currently residing in Moscow. Suzie is a strong supporter of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. She is major critic of traditional media and state surveillance.
12/ USuzie has slowly drifted towards supporting/echoing the Kremlin narrative as she continues to seek asylum in Russia. She retweeted a recent post by Sarah Abdallah, spreading her content into the global far-left information space.
13/ The connections between these accounts allude to a coordinated information operation leveraged through diverse social media networks. It is clear that the larger pro-Assad, pro-Kremlin community is attempting to embed in both alt-right and far-left networks.
14/ The consistent sharing of US alt-right content by Sarah, and attacks on traditional European media by Vanessa is consistent with attempts to undermine truth and journalism on both sides of the Atlantic.
15/ This coordinated effort - as part of broader hybrid warfare tactics - seems to be achieving success in seeding doubt and shaping the debate around ongoing global conflicts.
16/ What is missing is a coordinated response that can match the specificity and at times creativity of these computational propaganda campaigns. A proper response will require the combination of journalism, national security @eunatoinfo operations and creative messaging efforts.

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More from @New_M_Frontier

Jun 22, 2018
As the child separation crisis continues, a new narrative has emerged to undermine public outrage over the admin's family separation activity. Last night, Gateway Pundit published a story claiming that many of the pictures/stories were faked/misrepresented. 1/
This narrative is being amplified and was echoed by the President earlier this morning. This thread provides examples of fresh propaganda content supporting the narrative on @facebook / @twitter – disinfo messaging has become the norm, shapping the debate in a post truth world2/
Via the Gateway Pundit story, much of the content revolves around the recent @TIME magazine cover 3/
Read 7 tweets
Jun 19, 2018
With the ongoing child separation crisis and recent reporting that a plurality of Republicans support the administration's policy. We decided to look into trending content on @Facebook's private groups to share a profile of images shaping opinion 1/…
Read 8 tweets
Jun 19, 2018
Here's a look into the Alt-Right community on @facebook. Alt-Right Alliance, a private group, and The Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipeline, a public page, both sharing white-nationalist, anti-semitic, anti-globalist, and far-right cultural content. Pulling back the curtain. 1/
The branding of both of these communities is a blend Gen X culture with current/former public figures. Trump, Farage in Warhammer gear, and Pinochet, Hans-Hermann Hoppe on top of 80's design features. In general, whether its Magic Cards or neon colors, the retro touch is common2/
Alt-Right Alliance members frequent share content from "Name the Jew". This site is dedicated to identifying Jewish public figures and denying the Holocaust. "Name the Jew" has a page and Twitter account w 7000 followers. The site was started in 2018. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Apr 20, 2018
1/ Today the @DNC filed a lawsuit against the Russian Government, Trump Campaign, and Wikileaks. The announcement was quickly followed by several counter narratives. We took a look at this trending post by Jackposobiec that has received 1.5m impressions as of 3pm ET
2/ One of the first amplification accounts to share the tweet was Bossycowgurl84, an anonymous profile that posts aggressive content and is followed by Charlie Kirk, Harlan Hill and Bill Mitchell. They follow these accounts to amplify their content.
3/ Qanonpatriot also shares the content. Another anonymous account that pushed Qanon conspiracy theories and markets itself as a Q amalgamator/translator. If you're unfamiliar with this conspiracy check out this story:… @nytimes
Read 10 tweets
Apr 17, 2018
1/ Yesterday OANN posted a story claiming to have found no evidence of a chemical weapons attack in Douma. The correspondent was embedded with the Syrian military and seems to echo Assad regime talking points…
2/ This thread profiles 8 accounts that retweeted and amplified this content which has received 3+ million impressions in under 24 hours.
3/ Blysx is an anti-semitic amplification account who retweeted the OANN content. Oddly, this account is followed by American Airlines and Qualcomm.
Read 12 tweets
Apr 8, 2018
Top 10 questions for Congressional hearings with Facebook leadership:

Values: What role does Facebook have in supporting our Western values in foreign contexts?
Corporate responsibility: When Facebook’s apps and underlying data practices enable and encourage computational propaganda and the targeting of coercive/deceptive content to vulnerable individuals, is Facebook responsible for the impact of those campaigns?
Information security: Does Facebook know all parties who scraped data on Americans, and where that data is now? Does Facebook allow for individual targeting on their platform?
Why did Facebook change its API policies in 2015?
Read 11 tweets

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