22000 accounts masquerading as moroccans push pro-israeli propaganda

Les preuves recueillies indiquent que ces comptes ne sont pas de simples acteurs autonomes. Au contraire, ils font partie intégrante d’un effort coordonné conçu pour façonner artificiellement un discours sur le soutien du Maroc à Israël .

Tags : Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Hamas, Morocco, arabic countries, Eekad,

This investigation is not standalone; it’s a segment of an Eekad series, meticulously crafted to uncover the veiled operations of bot farms manipulating Arab discourse.

As global and Arab communities engage with the recent events in Palestine, Eekad’s investigative team turned its lens on a series of Arabic-speaking (X) accounts that were conspicuously critical of Palestinans and any form of resistance while openly supporting Israel.

These accounts, which claim Moroccan identities, were found to be operating from within Morocco.

Our team meticulously tracked these accounts, identifying patterns in their repeated narratives.

Interestingly, their digital footprint wasn’t limited to X; they echoed similar messages championing the Israeli perspective across platforms, including Facebook and YouTube.

In the ensuing analysis, we’ll uncover the reality of these accounts and their narratives across these platforms.

Our analysis of these accounts on X revealed telltale signs of orchestrated bot activity, characterized by:

1- Repeated use of identical phrases.
2⃣ Sequential duplication of emojis.
3⃣ Uniform interactions with select accounts.
4⃣ A notable trend where many altered their tweet locations to Morocco.

The evidence gathered indicates that these accounts aren’t mere standalone actors. Rather, they are integral pieces of a coordinated effort designed to artificially shape a narrative of Moroccan backing for Israel.

A deep dive into a large selection of these accounts and their prior engagements unveiled a consistent trend. Most notably, their inception or surge in activity is traceable to around December 2020, parallel to the unfolding of the Arab-Israeli normalization pacts, indicating a deliberate strategy: to lay the groundwork for normalization and to galvanize broad-based endorsement in the lead-up to Morocco’s diplomatic alignment with Israel.

Yet, the crowning insight from this investigation emerges from the peculiar and disproportionate upswing in account activity and engagement starting from August 2022.

Understanding the implications of this sudden uptick is vital, especially for those who may be detached from the situational context.

The timing of this significant upsurge in August 2022 aligns with our earlier discoveries related to the inflated engagement within Israeli-Egyptian bot farms, as well as the recent revelation of Israeli-Saudi bot farms:

This consistent pattern strongly indicates that a singular entity is at the helm of these bot farms, coordinating their actions to disseminate a specific agenda among Arab X users, whether from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Morocco.

Upon conducting an in-depth quantitative assessment, we observed a marked surge in the activity of accounts linked to the Israel-Moroccan bot farms starting in August, with the momentum only intensifying thereafter.

For clarity, let’s divide the timeline into two distinct phases:

The initial phase spans the inception of the bot farms, starting before December 2020 and stretching until the notable uptick in their growth in August 2022. The subsequent phase encompasses the period from August 2022 to the present day.

During this period, the number of these accounts has nearly tripled, mirroring a threefold increase in their engagement rate.

Delving deep into tens of thousands of these accounts, Eekad has established that more than 22,000 are most likely fake.

The digital fingerprints of these accounts revealed the follwoing:

1- The majority attempted to mimic Moroccan identities, yet their tweets were marred by flawed Arabic.
2⃣ Most accounts had modest following, rarely exceeding 50.
3⃣ They created fake profiles.
4⃣ A recurring pattern of identical narratives, phrasing, and concepts was evident.

In the course of our investigation, we pinpointed certain accounts displaying unusual patterns. Prominent among these was the ‘David Levy’ (@DavidLe29615893) account, which claimed the credentials of a researcher, university professor, writer, and political analyst, flaunting a list of extensive research publications.

Interestingly, Levy (@DavidLe29615893) has long been embroiled in launching critiques against Algerians, deepening the rift between Moroccans and Algerians. He often interacted with accounts that stoked this animosity. Yet, what unfolded next was unexpected.

The persona presented as « David Levy, » (@DavidLe29615893) distinguished by his European looks, is a fabricated identity. An in-depth analysis of his profile image determined it was generated using AI, and a strikingly similar picture was traced back to Pinterest.

To validate our discoveries, we meticulously scrutinized Levy’s photograph. The results undeniably affirmed that the image was AI generated, and the person showcased has no tangible presence.

Our research uncovers a sophisticated strategy employed by bot farms: fabricate intricate personas, complete with detailed backgrounds, areas of specialization, research credentials, and fake images. Once integrated into social media, these pseudo-identities are endowed with a veneer of credibility, paving the way for amplified engagement patterns.

This method of crafting and promoting fake personas mirrors Eekad’s previous findings in investigating Israeli-Egyptian bot farms.

Our probe into personalities like Sam Youssef and Karim Gahin pulled back the curtain on their bogus credentials and alleged areas of expertise:

Additionally, our deep dive into the bot farms on X revealed patterns that closely mirrored the activities of accounts on both Facebook and YouTube.

After thoroughly examining the Facebook profiles, it was clear that they operated as part of a coordinated bot network.

🔻An estimated 16-17 thousand of these profiles were identified as fake, having been active within the Israeli bot farms since the onset of the normalization process.

🔻These accounts habitually disseminated identical messages and showed a marked spike in activity in August 2022.

Moreover, Facebook accounts associated with the bot network had previously taken on a variety of identities. Initially, some accounts portrayed themselves as individuals from various nationalities, including Indian, Chinese, and Pakistani. However, over time, they transitioned to pose as Moroccans.

Similarly, on YouTube, an account by the name of Ahmad Al Hmadi exhibited a sudden transformation within just a month.

He initially claimed to be Moroccan and used his account to criticize Algeria in several posts. However, he subsequently switched to an Algerian persona, where he began denouncing Morocco and its efforts towards normalization.

The case of Al-Hmadi is not isolated. Throughout our investigation, we observed similar patterns. Two other accounts with similar names and profiles surfaced. One claimed to be Moroccan and targeted Algeria, while the other adopted an Algerian persona to criticize Morocco.

🔻Further analysis of their engagement patterns suggests that they were managed by a single entity or individual. »

What does all this mean?

🔻The situation is far from simple. Let’s unfold the layers together.

A deeper dive into these bot farms unearths more than meets the eye. Assessing Moroccan social media chatter before these bot farms took root in late 2020, it’s evident that public discourse was largely neutral. The issues now igniting racial tensions were once sidelined, barely stirring conversation.

Yet, as these bot farms came onto the scene, a discernible transformation took shape. Racial undertones against Algerians surged, and dialogues about the Moroccan-Israeli relationship became increasingly prevalent on social media.

The very bot farms that now target Palestine had previously been focused on attacking Algerians. They promoted Israeli-Moroccan normalization and have been stoking racial tensions for years.

Eekad continues its mission to expose these bot farms, which are merely the tip of a much larger orchestrated iceberg.

Following our exposé on Israeli-Egyptian bot farms a few months ago and, more recently, the Israeli-Saudi bot farms, we now turn our focus to the operations of Israeli-Moroccan bot farms.

This investigation marks a riveting chapter in our series of digital deep dives that we’ve carefully created over the course of months. We’re on the cusp of more discoveries, so keep an eye out as we continue to share our findings.


#Maroc #Israel #Normalization #Gaza #Trolls

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