US media is reporting that Iran is intensifying its disinformation campaign on social media to spread discord and anti-Semitic tropes in the US. According to the Time.com report:
June 9, 2021 Iranian state actors are intensifying their disinformation campaign on social media to spread discord and anti-Semitic tropes inside the U.S., two U.S. intelligence officials say. Social media accounts tracked to troll farms run by the Iranian government have ramped up disinformation after several major events this year, including Biden’s effort to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, the April 14 announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin on April 20, and the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas that started on May 10. “It’s a significant level of activity,” one official tells TIME. “It’s active enough that we’re tracking it.” The officials did not offer details on the specific disinformation activity after the events. But within days of the conflict beginning last month in Israel and Gaza Twitter accounts linked to Iran were amplifying anti-Semitic messages in English, including the phrases “hitler was right” and “kill all jews” at a rate of 175 times per minute, according to analysis by Network Contagion Research Institute, which studies disinformation and is affiliated with Rutgers University and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “You’ve seen tons of misinformation,” says Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the ADL, which monitors hate speech in the U.S. “Many of them have been Tweets associated with troll armies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
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The article further notes that Iran, as well as China, are observing how effective Russia’s disinformation efforts are in the US and is pursuing the same ends: sowing discord, undermining confidence in the government, and promoting their own objectives. It is said that Iran and Russia also borrow each others’ techniques, but Iran’s efforts tend to be easier to detect than Russia’s.
In April, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that Facebook had removed a network of Iranian fake accounts targeting Israel, the UK, Iraq, and Afghanistan for violating its policy against foreign interference, coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign entity.