Last week, social media giant Twitter announced that around 130 accounts that appeared to originate from Iran were to be removed. The reason for this action, Twitter explained, was because it was disrupting conversation with regards to the presidential debate that recently took place in the United States.
The Iranian regime has used fake accounts on social media to push its agenda. This is something that has been revealed time and time again by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), and the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI), and it is clearly something the regime believes works in its favor.
Based on intel provided by the @FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 1, 2020
Earlier this year, Facebook announced that hundreds of accounts with links to Iran and other countries were being removed for being deceptive.
There has been much criticism of social media platforms because of the spread of so-called “fake news” and it has to be admitted that the issue is now being taken seriously. However, it is not an easy task to keep on top of. Over the course of a couple of months in 2018, millions of accounts were deleted from Twitter, but the continued cycle of fake accounts has proven to be relentless.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) May 29, 2019
Facebook and Twitter have both said in the past that there many of the deleted user profiles have been linked back to Iran. What is more concerning is that news outlets have been reporting on the fake content before the accounts were deleted.
The Iranian regime has been powering its propaganda machine for decades and its techniques are moving with the times.
Fake social media accounts spread pro-Iran, anti-Trump messages during 2018 election – FireEye https://t.co/gVFp09ifP5
— Reuters Iran (@ReutersIran) May 28, 2019
Western media outlets have fallen for the regime’s propaganda too, with numerous well-respected and reputed publications repeating and publishing the regime’s lies and deceptions. This is something that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, has been drawing attention to this, warning media outlets to report responsibly, especially when it comes to a corrupt and manipulative regime like the mullahs in Iran.
#Hamburg Regional Court endorses the National Council of Resistance of #Iran #NCRI’s a lawsuit against the #German daily, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) for defaming The People’s Mojahedin #PMOI #MEK https://t.co/czNTtGuJWY #IRGCTerrorWithoutBorders #Iranian @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/rzb2Pvzbv0
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) June 26, 2020
The (PMOI / MEK Iran), is no stranger to the regime’s propaganda and has been one of the regime’s main targets for years. The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has a network of “friendly journalists” scattered across the world and its work is being made easier in this time of social media. The (PMOI / MEK Iran), has been smeared by the regime and has been portrayed in a bad light – something that foreign journalists have carelessly repeated.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) August 27, 2019
For the past few years in Iran, the people have become extremely restless as the crises worsen because of the regime’s corruption and mismanagement. The (PMOI / MEK Iran), is – and has been for decades – one of the biggest means of support for the people. It is amplifying the voice of the people and giving them the strength and encouragement to stand up for their rights. This is why the regime is trying so hard to make the (PMOI / MEK Iran), appears to be an illegitimate organization.
Iranian Regime Used Twitter to Demonize the #MEK http://mek-iran.com/2018/11/01/iranian-regime-used-twitter-to-demonize-the-mek/#
Slandering of the (PMOI / MEK Iran) is one of the ways we can spot the regime’s propaganda, lobbyists, or apologists. While the social media platforms work on weeding out the fake accounts, we can only call on journalists to report responsibly.
Google said it took down 10 influence operation campaigns in Q2 2020. Look at #5. Youtube accounts against #MEK @Mojahedineng in Bosnian & Arabic. https://t.co/9B9slT0MdV via @ZDNet & @campuscodi @NCRIUS @statedeptspox @USAdarFarsi @AP @ReutersIran @AFP
— Ali Safavi (@amsafavi) August 6, 2020