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Conspirador Norteño @conspirator0
, 19 tweets, 16 min read Read on Twitter
Immediately following the chemical attack in #Douma, Syria, the usual suspects are lining up to push the theory that it was a false flag.
This isn't the only time in the last couple of months we've seen "false flag" theories pushed in the wake of a chemical attack. In one case, the prime suspect is Assad's government, a Russian ally, and in the other the Russian government itself.
We downloaded recent tweets containing the hashtag #FalseFlag; the majority are related to the attack in Syria. 1744 of 1950 (89%) of the accounts involved also have #Novichok tweets on their timelines.
Retweet network for recent #FalseFlag tweets. Propaganda account @Ian56789 once again shows up as a major node, which is unsurprising as he seems to be unable to resist pushing false flag theories about pretty much everything.
(Some examples of @Ian56789's tweets and a link to an earlier analysis of the account).
The accounts involved in the recent #FalseFlag trend also have a history of tweeting conspiracy theory hashtags. 1796 of 1950 (92%) have tweeted at least one of #FollowTheWhiteRabbit, #QAnon, #Pizzagate, #SethRich, #SpiritCooking, and #SyriaHoax.
Here are the same plots for #Douma. The network here splits into a larger portion that presents the view that Assad's government is responsible, and a smaller section (bottom) pushing false flag theories (and the Kremlin's view on world issues in general).
The most prominent account in the "false flag" section is @PartisanGirl, the verified account of a writer for both Infowars and New Eastern Outlook (a production of the Russian Academy of Sciences).
This isn't the first time @PartisanGirl has turned up, btw. Her previous contributions to Twitter discourse include dubious claims about the Kurdish YPG training "antifa" to commit terrorist attacks.
I updated this dataset today: 38514 tweets from 19939 users. This chart shows the volume over time, although there may be a better visualization of the traffic available. . .
Brief thread containing a couple of animated visualizations of the #FalseFlag traffic.
What media sources are being linked in tweets claiming the Douma chemical attack was a #FalseFlag? Let's check and compare with a similar volume of tweets for #SyriaStrikes, which should capture a more general set of Twitter traffic related to Syria.
Top media sources linked from #FalseFlag tweets, with a similar volume of #SyriaStrikes tweets as a control. Two differences between the sets jump out:

1) Fringe sites replace CNN/UK media in #FalseFlag set
2) Greater proportion of Kremlin-controlled media in #FalseFlag set
Here are the 15 articles most frequently linked from #FalseFlag tweets since the recent chemical attack in Syria. Did the media websites posting this material experience a corresponding increase in Twitter traffic linking to them?
The answer appears to be yes - seven of the media websites linked from #FalseFlag tweets (responsible for 56% of the links) experienced an observable jump in links from Twitter within 48 hours of the attack.
Not surprisingly, the more obscure sites show a more extreme spike, but even some better-known sites like Zero Hedge and Gateway Pundit received a sizable infusion of Twitter traffic correlated to the recent #FalseFlag trend.
Looking at the retweet networks for several of these websites, we see some frequent fliers. @Ian56789 never met a website with articles about #FalseFlag theories that he didn't embrace with vigor, apparently.
Of course, not every Twitter user tweeting #FalseFlag theories and linking to dubious news sites is a major propaganda account. What does the social media experience of the average person who's prone to believing/propagating false flag conspiracies look like?
Baby step toward an answer - this diagram is a guess as to accounts #FalseFlag users frequently see on their timelines. It's built from 60K recent tweets linking the sites linked in #FalseFlag tweets, sampled proportionately to the frequency each occur in the #FalseFlag dataset.
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