Ever heard of the JIDF? That’s weaksauce in comparison to what they are actually doing. That’s only 1 group of many that we know about. There are Israeli military agents being paid to argue on social media, along with Israeli college students working for the government, among others.
The Israel Defence Forces have pioneered state military engagement with social media, with dedicated teams operating since Operation Cast Lead, its war in Gaza in 2008-9. The IDF is active on 30 platforms – including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram – in six languages. “It enables us to engage with an audience we otherwise wouldn’t reach,” said an Israeli army spokesman. www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/31/british-army-facebook-warriors-77th-brigade
Israeli government paying bilingual students to spread propaganda online primarily to international communities without having to identify themselves as working for the government. “The [student] union will operate computer rooms for the project…it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”
The plan aims to harness 550 bilingual students drawn from the student pool at the country’s seven universities, who will target their efforts abroad. www.timesofisrael.com/pmo-stealthily-recruiting-students-for-online-advocacy/
The Immigrant Absorption Ministry announced on Sunday it was setting up an “army of bloggers,” to be made up of Israelis who speak a second language, to represent Israel in “anti-Zionist blogs” in English, French, Spanish and German. www.haaretz.com/israel-recruits-army-of-bloggers-to-combat-anti-zionist-web-sites-1.268393
Israel is paying internet workers to manipulate online content such as Wikipedia www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x2DFnGI9Ac
Israel tech site paying “interns” to covertly plant stories in social media
An investigation by The Electronic Intifada has revealed that the online publication Israel21c is hiring students as “digital ambassadors” to plant its stories in online discussion forums and social media without revealing that they work for the publication. Israel21c is part of propaganda efforts aimed to improve Israel’s image and distract from Israel’s occupation, abuse and massacres of Palestinians.
Headlines currently running on Israel21c’s website give an idea of the spin: “An Israeli technology just made the world safer,” “Israel – where fashion and technology meet,” a story about Hebrew University’s commercial arm titled “50 years of bringing brilliant ideas from lab to market” and “The maverick thinker behind Iron Dome” – the US-funded missile system which Israel claims is capable of intercepting rockets fired by Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza.
Israel21c claims on its “About” page that it has “placed more than 10,000” such stories in the press around the world, including the BBC, The New York Times, AP, Reuters, CNN and Al Jazeera, “as well as top blogs, Huffington Post, Treehugger, MedGadget and Gizmodo.”
Psy Group developed elaborate information operations for commercial clients and political candidates around the world, which included infiltrating target audiences with elaborately crafted social-media personas. The CEO of PSY Group was former commander of an Israeli psychological warfare unit. Tactics deployed by PSY Group in foreign elections included inflaming divisions in opposition groups and playing on deep-seated cultural and ethnic conflicts, something the firm called “poisoning the well.” It has conducted messaging/influence operations in well over a dozen languages and dialects and employs an elite group of high-ranking former officers from some of the world’s most renowned intelligence units.
For generations, many in the Diaspora have been frustrated by the ineffectiveness of Israeli hasbara, feeling that they could explain Israel’s position better themselves. Today many supporters of Israel worldwide are becoming Digital Ambassadors. The internet is transforming the battle lines of Israel’s public relations war.
Israel is no longer solely reliant on its often ineffective spokespeople to explain its position. It is recruiting anybody with a computer or a smart phone to help in the campaign. The iphone and the ipad, Youtube and Twitter are the new weapons in the PR war. And as the internet grows, so does the potential impact of Israeli hasbara
How An App Funded By Sheldon Adelson Is Covertly Influencing The Online Conversation About Israel
The Act.IL app paints itself as a grassroots initiative, but one expert calls it “advanced digital political astroturfing.”
An example of the tactic that I described in the title of the post:
One document that has received particular attention is a PowerPoint presentation that said a trio of data-related companies — HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies and Berico Technologies — could help attack WikiLeaks, which is rumored to be preparing to release internal e-mails from Bank of America.
One idea was to submit fake documents covertly to WikiLeaks, and then expose them as forgeries to discredit the group. It also suggested pressuring WikiLeaks’ supporters — notably Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com — by threatening their careers.
“Without the support of people like Glenn, WikiLeaks would fold,” the presentation said.
Another PowerPoint presentation prepared for Hunton & Williams said the research that HBGary Federal and its partners could do for the law firm on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce would “mitigate effect of adversarial groups” like U.S. Chamber Watch. The presentation discussed the alleged criminal record of one leader of an antichamber group, and said the goal of its research would be to “discredit, confuse, shame, combat, infiltrate, fracture” the antichamber organizations.
Let all of that information sink in. Now realize that Israel is a single country. Think of how many countries there are. What about companies? How many companies are there? Many of them also engage in information operations. Be careful of what you read online.