LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO — 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 Britain and the United States, Facebook said on Tuesday.
In a monthly report of accounts suspended for so-called “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Facebook said it had 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 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 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-iran-specialreport/special-report-how-iran-spreads-disinformation-around-the-world-idUSKCN1NZ1FT 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 defense 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 organizations, to target countries from Algeria and Bangladesh to the United Kingdom 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 United Kingdom, they said.
Graphika’s head of investigations, Ben Nimmo, said those attempts were short-lived but show that Iran was experimenting with online election meddling years before alleged Russian attempts to sway the 2016 U.S. 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.” (Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in DUBAI; editing by Nick Macfie)
Watch what you say about COVID-19 on social media, Quebec College of Physicians warns its members – CTV News Montreal
Quebec’s College of Physicians has issued a warning to the province’s doctors who talk about COVID-19 on social media: denying the importance of the virus, or encouraging citizens to deconfine themselves quickly, not only goes against directives of public health, but also of their code of ethics.
The College is urging them to be careful when writing comments about COVID-19 on Twitter or Facebook.
The reminder was issued Wednesday via a press release.
The College said it was informed by its investigations division that doctors were using social media to voice their opinions about the COVID-19 pandemic.
It reminded doctors that their ethical obligations always hold “even when they express themselves from a personal point of view” on social media.
In no way should such communications on these platforms be used to express opinions or disseminate messages that are contrary to scientific standards, the College said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2020.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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