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Network of Bots Seeding Fake News Among Israeli Journalists

Ran Margaliot
Nov 29, 2018 · 6 min read

First Contact

On November 13th, the Israeli daily Haaretz published an article exposing a sophisticated operation to spread sensational, fictitious information among a group of prominent Israeli journalists. The aim of the operation was to lure Israeli journalists to reverberate fake information, posted on a clone of a Harvard University official website, providing a sensational quote by ex mossad chief stating that recently resigned defense minister Lieberman is a Russian agent.

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The Bots Strike Again

We monitored the account without noticing anything unusual, for two weeks. Yesterday, around noon, a Jerusalem Post journalist by the name of Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro), tweeted about of a fake story that was sent to her by Bina Melamed, mentioning the account. Spiro’s tweet instantly blipped on my radar.

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Attack of The Clones?

Stranger yet were the type of followers shared by the confirmed fake news spreader Bina Melamed and the confirmed fake Rabbi account. As it turns out, the 147 shared followers appear to be Twitter bots.

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Zooming Out

So, what do we have here? We have a confirmed Fake News spreader Bina Melamed, involved in two separate cases of sending fictitious information to Israeli journalists. We also have a recently opened fake Rabbi account who doesn’t only follow and is followed by the fake news spreader Bina Melamed, but also spreads the same Fake News story she did. Last but not least, both fake accounts boast 147 botnet-like followers who are all interconnected to each other. All of these accounts do not tweet, but only retweet the same tweets between themselves, reverberating at least some of the content generated by fake Bina Melamed and the fake Rabbi account.


Communit360

Social Reputation, Engagement & Risk Management For Brands

Thanks to Itamar Rogel

Ran Margaliot

Written by

Passionate technologist. Entrepreneur. Nice guy. Co-founder @Commun_it, Israel Twitter developers community leader @tdc_israel

Communit360

Social Reputation, Engagement & Risk Management For Brands

Ran Margaliot

Written by

Passionate technologist. Entrepreneur. Nice guy. Co-founder @Commun_it, Israel Twitter developers community leader @tdc_israel

Communit360

Social Reputation, Engagement & Risk Management For Brands

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