(JTA) — Three fake journalists who seeded dozens of anti-Israel and anti-American stories on social media may have been part of an Iranian disinformation plot, a report said.
A Daily Beast investigation published Tuesday identified three purported journalists as posting stories on social media that seemingly came from reputable news outlets but were fake. Other fake stories were posted by accounts impersonating real people. Some of the fake stories eventually made it to legitimate news sites.
Characteristics of the fake news blitz were consistent with a known Iranian-aligned disinformation campaign, according to the Daily Beast, which reported that Facebook and Twitter were removing the fake postings.
Among the fake stories were an account of the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency visiting with U.S. troops in Iraq; a phony threat of a Yemen-based terrorist group attacking an Israeli peace initiative launched in Bahrain; and a conspiracy by Israel and the United Arab Emirates to win President Donald Trump a second term.
Some of the stories were bizarre: One impersonated a French politician and claimed he got the coronavirus infection from chicken McNuggets.