Israeli Government's Covert Social Media Campaign Targets US Lawmakers, Reveals New Report

A new report from The New York Times reveals that the Israeli government organized and funded a covert social media campaign aimed at swaying US lawmakers to support Israel's actions in Gaza.

The campaign, backed by approximately $2 million from Israel's Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, employed hundreds of fake accounts posing as American citizens. These accounts flooded social media with pro-Israel messages, urging Congress to back Israeli military operations. Notably, the campaign targeted Black Democrats, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Despite the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs initially denying involvement, The Times obtained details about the campaign from internal documents and individuals involved, contradicting the office's denial.

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, disclosed in its quarterly threat report that it uncovered a network of over 500 fake accounts tied to Israel. These accounts, impersonating various groups including local Jewish students and African Americans, spread pro-Israel content across social media platforms.

Interestingly, the Israeli government's role in these campaigns was not initially known. Both Meta and OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, took action to disrupt such activities.

This revelation underscores the increasing trend of political entities leveraging social media to shape public opinion. While similar efforts have been seen on platforms like TikTok, this marks the first time the Israeli government has been implicated in such tactics targeting the US government.

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has spilled over onto social media platforms, resembling a digital battleground. Amidst this, it's crucial to recognize the human cost of the conflict, with over 37,000 Palestinians losing their lives in the Gaza siege. As the largest supplier of weapons to Israel, the US remains a significant ally, a dynamic likely to influence Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming address to Congress.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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