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Right-wing Israeli interests are engaged in an all out Twitter attack with hopes of delegitimizing the Iranian election and causing political instability within Iran. Anyone using Twitter over the past few days knows that the topic of the Iranian election has been the most popular. Thousands of tweets and retweets alleging that the election was a fraud, calling for protests in Iran, and even urging followers hack various Iranian news websites (which they did successfully). The Twitter popularity caught the eye of various blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch and even made its way to mainstream news media sites. Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities - 1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th. 2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles. 3. “IranElection” was each of their most popular keyword 4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH. 5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo 6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER. Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran’s election. I narrowed the spammers down to three of the most persistent – @StopAhmadi @IranRiggedElect @Change_For_Iran I decided to do a google search for 2 of the 3 – @StopAhmadi and @IranRiggedElect. The first page to come up was JPost (Jerusalem Post) which is a right wing newspaper pro-Israeli newspaper. JPost actually ran a story about 3 people “who joined the social network mere hours ago have already amassed thousands of followers.” Why would a news organization post a story about 3 people who JUST JOINED TWITTER hours earlier? Is that newsworthy? Jpost was the first (and only to my knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers. The fact that JPost promoted these three Twitterers who went on the be the source of the IranElection Twitter bombardment is, unfortunately, evidence that this was an Israeli propaganda campaign against Iran. I must admit that I had my suspiscions. After all, Que Bono? (latin for “Who Benefits). There’s no question that Israel perceives Iran as an enemy, more so than any other nation. Destabilizing the country would benefit them.
In response to our recent post, which traced the bulk of the #IranElection twitter spam back to an article in JPost rather than “Iranian Students”, the Jerusalem newspaper has removed the evidence by altering their June 14th article (luckily, we kept the screenshot). JPost has also written a response to our allegations. We argued that the onslaught of #IranElection tweets may not have been the work of “Iranian students” as claimed but rather a group of people promoting the political interests of the right-wing of Israeli politics with the aim of magnifying the social unrest which followed the Iranian election. In researching the origin of the thousands of tweets and retweets, we noticed that only a hand full of people were at the core of the #IranElection spam. After preforming a simple google search which sought to find when/where 2 of these people were mentioned together we found a JPost article which became the basis of our assertion. Only hours after creating their twitter profiles, JPost ran an article which instructed their readers to follow on twitter for up to date coverage of the Iran election. JPost was the first and only major news source that posted the links to these twitter accounts which would later become the source of most of the #IranElection spam.