U.S Citizens Empathy Targeted on Social Media by Israel

Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs created fake accounts of social media after the Palestinian war to get empathy from U.S lawmakers.

Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs created fake accounts of social media two weeks after the Palestinian war to urge U.S lawmakers to fund the Israeli military and gain their empathy.

It Was Only the Beginning

Two weeks after the war on Gaza began, and before the escalation of the nation’s worldwide referring to it as the Israeli genocide of Palestinians, Israelis arranged and paid for a hefty influential campaign with fake accounts on social media targeting U.S. lawmakers and Americans with pro-Israel slogans and messages.

 According to officials who took part in this operation, the main aim was to garner support for Israeli actions against the Palestinians.

The campaign delegated by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, a governmental body that keeps people of the Jewish faith worldwide connected with the state of Israel, according to four Israeli officials.

They allocated about $2 million and hired Stoic, a political marketing firm in Tel Aviv, to execute the operation, as stated by officials and supported by evidence from documents.

The campaign began two weeks after the 7th of October and is still active on X. The creation of hundreds of fake accounts pretending to be real Americans on the microblogging platform, as well as Meta’s Facebook and Instagram to post pro-Israel comments has reached its peak by then. Such accounts targeted U.S. lawmakers, especially African American Democrats like Representative Hakeem Jeffries and Senator Raphael Warnock, urging them to continue funding Israel’s military.

ChatGPT, Open AI’s-powered chatbot, generated most of the posts. The campaign also created three fake English-language news sites with pro-Israel articles.

According to The New York Times, evidence about Israel’s connection to the campaign through officials and documents was found during their investigation. FakeReporter, an Israeli watchdog, identified the effort in March, and only last week, Meta and OpenAI said they had also disrupted the operation.

The campaign of fake accounts on social media itself demonstrated to the world the lengths Israel is willing to take influence American views on what American views on what they deem the Israeli genocide of Palestinians. While the U.S. has been a strong ally of Israel, its occupation of Palestine and the war on its people has been unpopular among many, who then called for President Biden to stop supporting Israel due to the high civilian death toll in Gaza and the West Bank.

Social media experts said this is the first documented case of Israel organizing a campaign to influence the U.S. government. While such government-backed campaigns are common, they are usually hard to prove. In parallel, countries like Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, and the U.S. are said to have similar operations globally, often masking their involvement.

Achiya Schatz, the executive director of FakeReporter, criticized Israel’s involvement as “reckless and probably ineffective,” adding that interfering in U.S. politics is extremely irresponsible.

Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs denied its state’s involvement and any connection to Stoic. Stoic didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Meta and OpenAI said the campaign didn’t have a widespread impact. The fake accounts had over 40,000 followers across X, Facebook, and Instagram, but many were likely bots, resulting in a limited audience.

So, Did They Get Away with It? Same as Always?

The idea behind this is huge, and so it Israel’s attempt to influence the world with fake accounts and images is not shocking. Israelis have gone to great lengths to hide the truth, generating fake images of beheaded and burned babies, claiming these acts were committed by Hamas, without providing any tangible proof of such allegations.

However, months later, they committed the biggest genocide on Palestinians by burning down Palestinian children. Only this time, the proof of the Israeli atrocities was documented on social media, with the trending hashtag ‘Rafah_burning” trending on X, demonstrating the power of social networking platforms in relaying the unhinged truth to the world.

The fact that the European Union (EU) pressured Zuckerberg’s Meta to remove any information about the Palestinian war and label it as ‘misinformation’ goes to show the Union’s biased view on the events taking place in the Middle East, supported by one of the world’s most influential social networking platforms.

Why couldn’t the fake accounts, images, and campaigns be stopped by the EU on Meta and called ‘misinformation’? The power of social media is highlighted with the Israeli government’s ability to manipulate the algorithms of Meta and X to get away with what they wanted, and ruling powers stood silent, and it attempted to manipulate the public’s perception of the events taking place. Nowadays, the epitome of propaganda is when content is generated using GPT, and the generation of images by GPT is not identified on these platforms as real or generated images.

It took pro-Palestinians months to figure out how to spread awareness after many accounts were suspended. Finally, they generated the ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ image, which was shared over 49 million times on Instagram.

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