Bot network exposed
Bot network exposedStrategic Affairs Ministry

The Strategic Affairs Ministry published a first-of-its-kind report exposing manipulative internet activity, as part of a deliberate campaign against the State of Israel in cyberspace.

The study so far reviewed 250 accounts suspected for non-authentic conduct. According to Strategic Affairs' Ministry estimates, about 70% of them did carry out such activities (about 170).

The fictitious profiles were identified by unusual activity with hashtags linked to a possible decision by the Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC), and Israeli intentions to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, including: #ICC4Israel , #ICCPalestine, #ICCIsrael, #StopAnnexation, #NoToAnnexWestBank, #الجنائيةالدولية في.

At the height of activity around the hashtag # ICC4Israel at the end of June, over 15,000 tweets went online, with 21% of them performed by fictitious users. The fake accounts managed to generate 9% of network involvement in relation to the hashtags tested - 180 times their relative size. The study also identified two large networks (over 30 users each) of fictitious profiles of young women associated with each other, and maintaining the same activity pattern.

The findings of the study indicate organized and coordinated delegitimization operations on social networks, to influence public opinion. As part of the campaign they are conducting, these elements perform internet manipulations that artificially inflate the discourse, in an attempt to lend it the appearance of spontaneous, widespread, popular protest.

Minister Farkash-Hacohen forwarded the findings of the study to Twitter, demanding the fake profiles identified be removed, and that an in-depth examination of the manipulative use of the platform be made. Some accounts have been suspended in recent days.

"Social networks are a central arena 'in the battle for minds', when in recent years they have become the focus of delegitimization organizations that undermine the right of the State of Israel to exist. Along with field activity in ICC corridors, they constantly work 'behind the scenes' in the international arena and even more so in the digital space to isolate and blacken the State of Israel. The activity described in the study is carried out by a deliberate hand of organizations that see before their eyes an opportunity to harm Israel through a hacked and unsupervised platform," said Minister Farkash-Hacohen.

Strategic Affairs Ministry Director Ronen Manlis adds that "the information emerging from the report is the tip of the iceberg of what happens on the Internet. This includes conscious actions in an attempt to influence global public opinion in the Israeli context, with some circumventing the rules of use."

הבוטים שנלחמים בישראל - נחשפיםדוברות המשרד לנושאים אסטרטגיים

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