Iran-Linked Twitter Accounts, and the Regime’s Argument Against the MEK
Twitter has erased about 130 Twitter accounts that seemed to have originated from somewhere in Iran. They contained information allegedly that was trying to intervene into tweets about the coming presidential election debates in the U.S. Twitter realized that the owners of the Twitter accounts have knowingly been using the social media platform to peddle the regime’s beliefs, much of which is disinformation.
We identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard. They had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation. Our capacity and speed continue to grow, and we'll remain vigilant. Samples ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1qzzL8l29H
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 1, 2020
Facebook did a similar thing earlier in the year when it removed hundreds of unauthorized accounts that were connected to Iran and some other countries. Both Facebook and Twitter are confronted with all sorts of fake information coming from bots and trolls which crawl through social media pages to try and persuade members to think in a certain way. It was in 2018 when these social media giants made a sweep through their members’ accounts deleting any that seemed fake. Unfortunately, much of the disinformation was not caught and this including some being peddled out of Iran.
Mullah Nasser Rafie was supposed to mourn the death of the third Shi'ite Imam at a religious ceremony but instead expressed utter fear over #MEK's role in exposing the regime's crimes on social media and warning of the impact it has on society #FreeIranhttps://t.co/Eh1stfPBBQ
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) September 1, 2020
The main democratic opposition in Iran, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), has issued warnings about the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) using Western media and what are called friendly journalists to spread disinformation about the MEK and the resistance movement.
Even though there is no direct evidence of what words have been used by the regime to discredit the MEK, it is clear that more recently there has been growing support for the MEK as a democratic alternative to the Mullah’s despotic regime. This has put fear into the regime which has led to further stepping up of oppression of dissidents even to the point amidst international outcry has led to the fast-tracking of executions to frighten the Iranian people into submission.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) August 27, 2019
The attempted bombing of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a pro-democracy supporters’ event in France was foiled but led to the regime initiating a massive anti-MEK and NCRI propaganda campaign.
One was providing two German media outlets with lies about the conditions inside the Ashraf 3 MEK compound in Albania. The publications were ordered in two German cases to remove the offensive information. A lot of the misinformation about the MEK which is peddled abroad is put together by the MOIS. There were so many lies that the MEK for a time was labeled a terrorist organization. It took 19 separate court cases for the MEK to clear its name.
#Hamburg Regional Court endorses the National Council of Resistance of #Iran #NCRI’s a lawsuit against the #German daily, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) for defaming The People’s Mojahedin #PMOI #MEK https://t.co/czNTtGuJWY #IRGCTerrorWithoutBorders #Iranian @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/rzb2Pvzbv0
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) June 26, 2020
Unfortunately, with the growth in unmonitored social media, it is far easier for the regime to spread misinformation because the source is difficult to find and the regime doesn’t need to get pally with any anti-MEK journalists to get the propaganda written and published. Once a word has got out that the MEK is allegedly a cult it is hard to counter this until another media outlet or organization is prepared to back the MEK.