The governments of Russia, China, and Iran are actively assisting the Hamas terrorist organization in the online battlefield as the terrorist organization continues the war against Israel it launched with its massacre of over 1,400 Israelis on October 7, the New York Times reported.
The three nations have used their state media to support the Hamas narrative and attack Israel for defending itself following the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, with a focus on using social media to turn people against the Jewish State. Russia and Iran have been particularly active in this endeavor.
Iran actively supports Hamas and the October 7 massacre and seeks the destruction of the State of Israel. Russia and China seek to undermine the West, in particular the United States, with false claims of Israeli war crimes.
Rafi Mendelsohn, vice president at Cyabra, a social media intelligence company in Tel Aviv, told the Times that the disinformation campaign launched by Russia, China, and Iran during the current war is unprecedented in its scope and scale.
“It is being seen by millions, hundreds of millions of people around the world and it’s impacting the war in a way that is probably just as effective as any other tactic on the ground,” Mendelsohn said.
Cyabra has documented about 40,000 bots and fake accounts used to spread pro-Hamas and anti-Israel disinformation.
Russian television station RT has spread the false libel that Israel was behind the bombing of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza even after it was definitively proven that the explosion was caused by a misfired rocket launched by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.
Another Russian media outlet, Sputnik India, claimed that the bomb that was used on the hospital was supplied to Israel by the US and that the hospital was destroyed, both of which are untrue. The rocket struck the hospital parking lot and caused little damage to the hospital building itself.
TikTok, a Chinese-owned social media platform widely used by young people, has also been manipulated to present a pro-Hamas and anti-Israel narrative. Young people under the age of 25 are far more likely to support the Hamas terrorist organization in its war against Israel than older people.
As many as one in four social media accounts posted about the war between Israel and Hamas in the immediate aftermath of the massacre were fake or bots, while one in three accounts posting about the explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital on X (formerly Twitter) in the day after the explosion were fake.
Hamas has deployed a sophisticated disinformation campaign on social media directly inspired by the social media campaign waged by ISIS in the latter organization's heyday. Russia, China, and Iran have helped to amplify and spread Hamas' disinformation and antisemitic messaging.