Iran’s state broadcaster has used hundreds of fake social media accounts to covertly spread pro-Iranian messaging online since at least 2011, targeting voters in countries including the United Kingdom and the United States, Facebook said on Tuesday.
In a monthly report of accounts suspended for so-called “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”, Facebook said it removed eight networks in recent weeks, including one with links to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Corporation (IRIB).
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said the IRIB network had “substantial connections” to previously identified Iranian disinformation campaigns, but it was too early to say whether it was directly responsible for those operations.
The state-owned IRIB, which has its head appointed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Iranian officials have previously dismissed allegations of running coordinated disinformation campaigns as “ridiculous”.
The Islamic Republic has emerged as one of the most persistent players in online influence operations, as Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet’s Google have had to grapple with state-backed groups using social media to further their geopolitical agendas and spread disinformation.
A Reuters investigation in 2018 found that one Tehran-based operation had used more than 70 websites masquerading as local news outlets to covertly disseminate Iranian state propaganda in more than 15 countries, at one point tricking the then Pakistani defence minister into issuing a nuclear threat against Israel.
Iranian officials in Tehran and London did not reply to questions about the operation at the time.
Gleicher said the newly identified network had used similar tactics, including posing as independent media websites and charitable organisations, to target countries from Algeria and Bangladesh to the UK and Zimbabwe.
The network used more than 500 accounts on Facebook and its photo-sharing site, Instagram, to spread messages that often focused on local conflicts or criticism of US actions in the region, he said. “In general, these were narratives that are aligned with Iranian geopolitical interests.”
Researchers at social media analytics firm Graphika, who reviewed the IRIB-linked accounts before they were suspended by Facebook, said some of the earliest-identified activity dated back to 2012 and targeted the US Republican party primaries.
Two years later, other accounts in the network used a handful of fake personas, memes and cartoons to support Scotland’s referendum bid to break away from the UK, they said.
Graphika’s head of investigations, Ben Nimmo, said those attempts were short-lived but showed that Iran was experimenting with online election meddling years before alleged Russian attempts to sway the 2016 US presidential vote. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations.
“The Iranian experiment was relatively tiny and didn’t last long or have any noticeable impact. What’s interesting is how early they started,” he said.
“This whole takedown underlines how persistent the Iranian state is when it comes to covert influence operations.”
Reuters news agency
Media Alert: ESG Event for Board Directors Featuring CEO of Bank of America and Founder of World Economic Forum Explores Measurement of Stakeholder Capitalism – Financial Post
Exclusive virtual event on June 16th, hosted by Diligent Corporation, provides insight into ESG, metrics and the board’s role from a powerhouse panel
NEW YORK — As companies continue to focus on long-term value creation in the face of economic recovery, operationalizing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) will be critical. However, with no consistent metrics, disclosures or reporting frameworks, companies and board members struggle to effectively oversee risk, communicate performance, and measure shareholder and stakeholder impact.
Hear directly from the business leaders who are actively seeking to formalize common metrics and how board members can support initiatives for consistent ESG standards. Featuring Brian Moynihan, Chairman & CEO of Bank of America and Chair of the World Economic Forum International Business Council, and Klaus Schwab, Founder & Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, “Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: ESG, Metrics & the Board’s Role” will explore:
- Will the push for stakeholder capitalism accelerate in a post-COVID world?
- What can boards expect with the move towards common metrics and consistent reporting?
- How can boards best navigate the implications for company strategy and governance?
What: Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: ESG, Metrics & the Board’s Role
When: Tuesday, June 16 at 10 AM Eastern
Where: Virtual event link will be sent after registration
RSVP: by Friday, June 12 to confirm participation
Event press inquiries should contact Shana Glenzer, VP Marketing & Communications, at Diligent Corporation: email@example.com or 202.227.2036.
About Diligent Corporation
Diligent Corporation is the pioneer in modern governance, empowering leaders to turn effective governance into a competitive advantage. Leveraging unparalleled insights from a team of industry innovators, as well as highly secure, integrated SaaS technologies, Diligent’s industry-leading suite of solutions changes how work gets done at the executive and board levels. Leaders rely on Diligent to drive accountability and transparency, while addressing stakeholder and shareholder priorities. Its applications also help streamline the day-to-day work of board management and committees, and support collaboration and secure information sharing. Designed for both public and private sector organizations, Diligent is helping to usher in a new era of modern governance.
The largest global network of directors and executives, Diligent is relied on by more than 17,000 organizations and 660,000 leaders in more than 90 countries. With an eye towards inclusivity and accessibility, Diligent serves some of the largest public governing bodies, including more than 50% of the Fortune 1000, 70% of the FTSE 100, and 65% of the ASX.
The Media, Entertainment and Culture Industry's Response and Role in a Society in Crisis – World Economic Forum
In collaboration with Accenture
COVID-19 continues to unfold with a profound shock across the media industry. At extraordinary speed, it has disrupted supply and demand, workforce and business operations, monetization, the industry ecosystem, and the emotional and physical health of the industry’s community. The first priorities have been to adapt to ensure business continuity and support society, workers, and customers.
The Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Culture, has convened C-level executives from the Media ecosystem to identify leading responses to the crisis in the short term, and help build back better in the mid to long term. In the first of a series of papers on what COVID-19 will mean for the media and entertainment industry, this report, in collaboration with Accenture, explores the role of the industry in a society in crisis and how the companies’ efforts can advance recovery for long-term resilience.
REPEAT – Media Advisory: Wednesday, June 3, Ontarians will demand action during the Ford Failed Us Province-wide Day of Action – GlobeNewswire
TORONTO, June 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ontarians are fed up with the Ford government’s failure to support the working people of Ontario, and they will be telling him so on Wednesday, June 3 with the Ford Failed Us Province-wide Day of Action, says the Ontario Federation of Labour.
From taking action in their communities, to sending a letter to their MPP, to asking questions of the Premier in a People’s Question Period, the workers of Ontario will tell the PCs that they have failed Ontarians.
“Before COVID-19, Ontarians were already feeling the damaging effects of PC government cuts. Now, COVID-19 has revealed to everyone just how much this government has failed all of us,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates. “There is a crisis in long-term care and a shortage of personal protective equipment. Not one worker in Ontario has legislated paid sick days, and the province still has an unlivable minimum wage. There is a deep lack of leadership when it comes to ending racism in this province. It’s time for this government to listen to workers and provide decent work, safe and healthy workplaces and communities, strong public services, and equality and justice. The people of Ontario must come first during this pandemic.”
The labour movement and its allies are calling on the government to fix the crisis in long-term care; prioritize workers’ health and safety; implement the promised pandemic premium pay; expand its eligibility and make it permanent; introduce a livable minimum wage immediately with no exceptions; provide permanent paid sick days plus paid days during an outbreak; respect collective agreements, and listen to workers.
“The PCs cannot miss the onslaught of concern being voiced by Ontarians suffering because of this government’s short-sighted policies,” said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Ahmad Gaied. “Ontarians know that the way we will get through this pandemic is by supporting each other, not by counting on big business to offer direction on government policies and long-term care homes.”
The OFL has provided activists with information on social distance actions they can take to send a strong message safely during the pandemic. The OFL will also launch The People’s Question Period on Twitter where Ontarians will ask the Premier a question about building an Ontario for all with the hashtags #PowerOfMany, #PeoplesQuestionPeriod, and #OnLab.
“The Ford Conservatives have failed Ontario,” said OFL Executive Vice-President Janice Folk-Dawson. “Calling front-line workers heroes but not ensuring they have access to life-saving personal protective equipment shows just exactly what this government thinks of workers. We also know that refusals of unsafe work are being denied by the Ministry of Labour. It’s time this government took workers’ concerns seriously.”
The OFL Power of Many is a campaign by the Ontario Federation of Labour and its allies in communities across Ontario, working together to protect and win decent work laws, strong public services, along with equality and justice, as well as safe and healthy communities for all.
OFL President Patty Coates will be available for media interviews by phone or on Zoom on June 3, 2020.
Visuals include Ford Failed Us and The People’s Question Period posters, tweets and video from @OFLabour, and questions for Premier Ford, which can be searched using #PowerOfMany or #PeoplesQuestionPeriod.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
firstname.lastname@example.org l 416-894-3456
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