[Thread]1/ I found 345 sockpuppet accounts tweeting in Arabic. They follow the familiar pattern of tweeting elongated Arabic hashtags with generic content. You can see some examples below of them posting identical content #platformmanipulation
2/ All 345 unique accounts have 0 centrality measures. E.g. They all tweet on these hashtags 'spontaneously' without retweeting. Impossible without co-ordination given the unique and esoteric hashtags
3/ Literally all tweets were sent using the same app, Twitter Web App - so zero app diversity. You'll also notice that each tweet contains a random string of characters - again a familiar device used to try and fool Twitter's algorithm into not seeing duplicate tweets.
4/ The majority of the accounts were created pre 2014. There are no clear anomalies, and given the wide variety of names and types of account, it is likely these are hacked/stolen accounts. #platformmanipulation #inauthenticbehaviour
5/ Some of the accounts include ones like this - @WoodgroveSoccer - a Twitter account for a High School football team based in Purcellville Virginia. Almost certainly a hacked account, unless some bot master loves high school soccer, and Virginia...
6/ This form of manipulation has been around for a few years, I am not clear why Twitter struggle to combat it. It's also not always clear what the purpose is. It appears to be some form of manipulation tactic designed to demote or promote specific trends. #disinformation

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More from @marcowenjones

23 Jul
[Thread] - 1) Good evening sports fans! Ready for the ultimate hacked verified Twitter accounts thread? Over the past two years, I have kept tabs on around 70 verified accounts that were hacked by Arabic language operators for various reasons. The victims #disinformation
2 / range from 30 international athletes, to other public figures such as deceased US Senator Debbie Smith. The accounts have been used for various purposes, from scams to state propaganda. Some of the accounts are still active, while many have been suspended - read on for more!
3/ First up, Senator Debbie Smith. Smith, who served as a member of the Nevada Senate, sadly passed away in 2016 after battling with a brain tumour. Her Twitter account was hacked by an Arabic-speaking account, which changed it's handle to
@0YY0k - and was eventually suspended ImageImageImage
Read 26 tweets
19 Jul
It's another embarrassing part of the British legal system. Rich people can buy their way out of harm to their reputation and press scrutiny. Can't believe it still happens. opendemocracy.net/en/odr/the-uks…
" In the wake of the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the #Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, a Guardian investigation found that “British firms [were] earning millions of pounds from efforts to improve the image of the kingdom...."
"Thus, lawyers can easily threaten legal action on behalf of super-wealthy clients. But journalists, especially freelancers or small media outlets, find it difficult to mount the financial resources and legal expertise to respond."
Read 4 tweets
9 Jul
[Thread] 1/ For #brismes2021 I did a survey of knowledge production on the Gulf, I analysed the top ranked 7000 google scholar hits to see what academic areas predominated. The below graph shows proportion of studies across Humanities, Natural science or Social Sciences
2/ Arts & Humanities is generally less common (perhaps in line with general fact these subjects tend to get cited less). Interesting to note that in Oman and Kuwait studies in the Natural Sciences & Medicine are ranked higher by Google Scholar. Below is a breakdown by discipline
3/ Health, Politics/Political Science, Energy & Environment, Accounting Business and Finance and Education are the top five disciplines (broadly speaking). As a side note, almost half the studies of Iraq related to the war. Even medical studies tended to focus on topics like PTSD
Read 8 tweets
6 Jul
[Thread] - 1/ Yesterday, and in the days leading up to it, there was a strange series of identical tweets supporting the continued wearing of masks and social distancing measures. Here are a sample below: #influenceops
2/ Below is a network graph showing the accounts in action. There was probably around 100 unique accounts repeating identical messages, most of them replying to the @politicsforali account. Many of the accounts were 'football fans'.
3/ Many of the accounts sent the same tweet multiple times, to the same account. Not clear whether it's 1) something sinister trying to stir the pot, 2) someone trying to generate artificial engagement or 3) people having a 'laugh'.
Read 4 tweets
29 Jun
[Thread] 1/ Here are some reflections on legal repression as applicable to how Israel uses it against Palestinians to facilitate ethnic cleansing #SaveSilwan #PalestinianLivesMatter
2/ 'Law is used as an instrument to extend control over society, subjecting persons to rules laid down through particular institutions. The establishment of specific laws and the use of legal repression can result in ‘rule by law’ instead of ‘rule of law’' #SaveSilwan
3/ 'In ‘rule by law’, or repressive law, ‘there is little or no separation between law and politics, and the dictates and policies of the rulers trump laws’....repressive law are those laws and systems in which law is designed to uphold the social order [The Occupation)''
Read 14 tweets
27 Jun
[Thread 1/4] Strange true story. When I was 21 I worked in #Sudan as an English teacher. Immediately prior to my arrival in Jan 2007, our small 'British English' school had taught the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the Minister of State for whom was Ahmed Haroun. In April
2/4 that year the ICC issued a warrant for the arrest of Ahmed Haroun for war crimes and crimes against humanity. That month, our small school had published new promotional pamphlets advertising the school. Right on the front page, was a small feature congratulating those
3/4 students from the humanitarian ministry who passed their English exams. Right next to it, in full colour, was the below picture of our English director, beaming and handing Ahmed Haroun a giant trophy! Needles to say, myself and some of the teachers expressed our concern
Read 4 tweets

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