A covert online propaganda operation said to be the world’s largest promoting “pro-Western narratives” has been found to be operating primarily out of the United States, targeting Russia, China and Iran.
“We believe this activity represents the most extensive case of covert pro-Western IO [Information Operation] on social media to be reviewed and analysed by open-source researchers to date,” say the researchers from Stanford University and internet research firm, Graphika.
The researchers found most of the Information Operation “likely originated in the United States.” From there it ran a massive, interconnected web of automated “bot” accounts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.
The covert operation to influence online audiences has been using “deceptive tactics to promote pro-Western narratives,” while “opposing countries including Russia, China and Iran.”
“The accounts heavily criticized Russia in particular for the deaths of innocent civilians and other atrocities its soldiers committed in pursuit of the Kremlin’s ‘imperial ambitions’ following its invasion of Ukraine in February this year,” the report says.