[eDebate] PSYOPS twitter angle on the soft coup
Thu Jun 25 13:02:53 CDT 2009
Not to mention all the things adboe can do to create the feel of
revolution. Photoshop for the amenijad rallies and a potentially fake
neda video being two examples
On 6/25/09, michael hester <uwgdebate at gmail.com> wrote:
> agreed on the false sense of awareness/public participation that new media
> technologies can create. i also think OS' skepticism regarding the use of
> Twitter in this particular case is warranted. and the reason why this is a
> significant issue is due to the ways in which is creates a false sense of
> awareness. in the past, we didn't feel certain about what was happening
> because we weren't there to experience it for ourselves. today, that fact
> hasn't changed, but suddenly, because a website posts twitter messages on
> the subject, we are easily convinced that the revolution is unfolding before
> us, when really, we have no idea who is passing along the info, nor what
> their agenda is. personal video technology (camera phones, camcorders) only
> avoids part of that problem, as we've already learned that people are
> posting old video images claiming them to be real-time insights.
> p.s. - my standards aren't *that *high :^)
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 9:43 PM, Old Strega <oldstrega at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> admittedly, the sources do not yet meet hester's standards but the
>> of the street protest to attempt a speedy revolution may have involved new
>> sophisticated mobile phone PSYOPS. the twitter angle is being twisted to
>> create the impression that iranians want to become more like americans.
>> the quality of the sources won't matter on these cards if the facts hold
>> we've come along way from airmail leaflets but not really.
>> 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
>> 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 <http://mashable.com/2009/06/15/twitter-iran-election/> 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
>> 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
>> striking similarities -
>> 1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
>> 2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their
>> 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
>> 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
>> an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were
>> 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 -
>> I decided to do a google
>> 2 of the 3 - @StopAhmadi and @IranRiggedElect. The first page to come up
>> 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
>> earlier? Is that newsworthy?* JPost was the first (and only to my
>> knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers.
>> JPost, a major news organization, promoted these three Twitterers who
>> on the be the source of the IranElection Twitter bombardment. Why is JPost
>> so concerned about Iranian students all of a sudden (which these spammers
>> claim to be)? I must admit that I had my suspicions. After all, Que Bono?
>> (who benefits).
>> In July 2008, after the exchange of prisoners and remains between Israel
>> and Hezbollah, robots placed tens of thousands of calls to Lebanese mobile
>> phones. A voice speaking in Arabic was warning against participating in
>> resistance activity and belittled Hezbollah. The Lebanese minister of
>> telecommunications, Jibran Bassil
>> files a complaint to the UN against this blatant violation of the
>> sovereignty [10 <http://www.voltairenet.org/article160670.html#nb1>].
>> Following the same approach, tens of thousands of Lebanese and Syrians
>> received an automatic phone call in October 2008 to offer them 10 million
>> dollars for any information leading to the location and freeing of Israeli
>> prisoners. People interested in collaborating were invited to call a
>> in the UK [11 <http://www.voltairenet.org/article160670.html#nb1>].
>> This method has now been used in Iran to bluff the population, to spread
>> shocking news and to channel the resulting anger.
>> First, SMS were sent during the night of the counting of the votes,
>> according to which the Guardian Council of the Constitution (equivalent to
>> constitutional court) had informed Mir-Hossein Mousavi of his victory.
>> that, the announcing of the official results - the re-election of Mahmoud
>> Ahmadinejad with 64 % of cast votes - seemed like a huge fraud. However,
>> three days earlier, M. Mousavi and his friends were considering a massive
>> victory of M. Ahmadinejad as certain and were trying to explain it by
>> unbalanced campaigns. Indeed the ex president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was
>> detailing his grievances in an open letter. The US polling institutes in
>> Iran were predicting a 20 points lead for M. Ahmadinejad over M. Mousavi [
>> 12 <http://www.voltairenet.org/article160670.html#nb1>]. M. Mousavi
>> victory never seemed possible, even if it is probable that some fraud
>> accentuated the margin between the two candidates.
>> Secondly, Iranian citizens were selected or volunteered on the Internet to
>> chat on Facebook or to subscribe to Twitter feeds. They received
>> - true or false - (still via SMS) about the evolution of the political
>> crisis and the ongoing demonstrations. These anonymous news posts were
>> spreading news of gun fights and numerous deaths which to this day have
>> been confirmed. Because of an unfortunate calendar overlap, Twitter was
>> supposed to suspend its service for a night to allow for some maintenance
>> its systems. The US State Department intervened to ask them to postpone it
>> 13 <http://www.voltairenet.org/article160670.html#nb1>]. According to the
>> New York Times, these operations contributed to spread defiance in the
>> population  <http://www.voltairenet.org/article160670.html#nb1>.
>> Simultaneously, in a new type of effort, the CIA is mobilizing
>> militants in the United States and in the United Kingdom to increase the
>> chaos. A Practical Guide to revolution in Iran was distributed to them,
>> which contains a number of recommendations, including:
>> - set Twitter accounts feeds to Tehran time zone;
>> - centralize messages on the following Twitter accounts @stopAhmadi,
>> #iranelection and #gr88 ;
>> - official Iranian State websites should not be attacked. ? Let the US
>> military take care of it ? (sic).
>> When applied, these recommendations make it impossible to authenticate any
>> Twitter messages. It is impossible to know if they are being sent by
>> witnesses of the demonstrations in Tehran or by CIA agents in Langley, and
>> it is impossible to distinguish real from false ones. The goal is to
>> more and more confusion and to push Iranians to fight amongst themselves.
>> Army general staffs everywhere in the world are closely following the
>> events in Tehran. They are trying to evaluate the efficiency of this new
>> subversion method in the Iranian experimental field. Evidently, the
>> destabilization process worked. But it is unclear if the CIA will be able
>> channel demonstrators to do what the Pentagon has renounced to do, and
>> they do not want to do themselves : to change the regime and put an end to
>> the Islamic revolution.
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