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U.S. research report reveals pro-Western influence operations

2022-09-19 19:06·NewResearch
by Xinhua

A recent report has revealed a series of Western media influence operations on social media networks. The operations involve a large number of accounts promoting pro-Western narratives that supported the United States and its allies.

The report - Unheard Voice: Evaluating five years of pro-Western covert influence operations - by the Stanford Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Center and Graphika, a network analysis company based in New York, has analyzed a large network of accounts removed from the U.S. social media giants Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The report said "our joint investigation found an interconnected web of accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and five other social media platforms that used deceptive tactics to promote pro-Western narratives in the Middle East and Central Asia."

In July and August, Twitter and Meta removed two overlapping sets of accounts for violating their platforms' terms of service.


The assets identified by Twitter and Meta "created fake personas with GAN (Generative Adversarial Network-computer-generated) faces, posed as independent media outlets, leveraged memes and short-form videos, attempted to start hashtag campaigns, and launched online petitions: all tactics observed in past operations by other actors."

The Stanford Internet Observatory claims on its webpage: "We believe this activity represents the most extensive case of covert pro-Western influence operations on social media to be reviewed and analyzed by open-source researchers to date."