Home Politics Fake images of Iran’s attack on Israel are going viral

Fake images of Iran’s attack on Israel are going viral

0 comment
Fake images of Iran's attack on Israel are going viral

In the hours after Iran announced its drone and missile attack on Israel on April 13, false and misleading posts went viral almost immediately on X. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a nonprofit think tank profit, found a series of posts that claimed to reveal the attacks and their impact, but instead used AI-generated videos, photographs and footage repurposed from other conflicts showing rockets launched in the night, explosions and even President Joe Biden in military uniform.

According to ISD, just 34 of these misleading posts received more than 37 million views. Many of the accounts posting misinformation were also verified, meaning they paid $8X per month for the ‘blue tick’ and its content. is amplified by the platform’s algorithm. ISD also discovered that several of the accounts claiming to be open source intelligence (OSINT), which has become in recent years another way to give legitimacy to their positions.

One post from the use of the Iron Dome. , Israel’s missile defense system, during the attack, but the video was actually from October 2023. Both posts garnered hundreds of thousands of views in the hours after the attack was announced, and both originated from verified accounts. iranian media He also shared a video of the forest fires in Chile earlier this year, stating that it showed the consequences of the attacks. This also began to circulate in X.

“The fact that so much misinformation and disinformation is being spread by accounts seeking influence or financial gain is giving cover to even more nefarious actors, including Iranian state media outlets that are passing off images of the Chilean wildfires as damage caused. “because of the Iranian attacks on Israel claim the operation as a military success,” says Isabelle Frances-Wright, director of technology and society at ISD. “The corrosion of the news landscape is undermining audiences’ ability to distinguish truth from falsehood on a terrifying scale.”

X did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Although misinformation about conflicts and crises has long found a place on social media, X is also often used to obtain vital information in real time. But under the leadership of Elon Musk, the company reduced content moderation and misinformation has flourished. In the days following the October 7 Hamas attack, X was inundated with disinformation, making it difficult for legitimate OSINT investigators to uncover information. Under Musk’s direction, X has promoted a crowd-sourced community notes feature as a way to combat misinformation on the platform with varying results. Since then, some of the content identified by ISD has received notes from the community, although only two publications had received it when the organization published its findings.

“During times of crisis, it appears to be a repeating pattern on platforms like an event has been caused by a certain actor or state,” says Moustafa Ayad, ISD executive director for Asia, the Middle East and Africa. “This is still happening and will continue to happen in the future, making it even more difficult to know what is real and what is not.”

And for those who are part of X’s subscription model and advertising revenue sharing modelGoing viral could potentially mean making money.

Although it is not clear that any of the users who spread false or misleading information identified by ISD were monetizing their content, a separate report report published by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) earlier this month found that between October 7 and February 7, ten influencers, including far-right influencer Jackson Hinkle, were able to increase their number of followers by posting anti-Semitic and Islamaphobic content about the conflict. Six of the accounts examined by CCDH were part of X’s subscription program and all ten were verified users. He high profile influencers part of company.

You may also like