Benjamin Strick Profile picture
Digital Investigator. OSINT/GEOINT. Investigations Director @Cen4infoRes & @MyanmarWitness. Prev #BBCAfricaEye & @Bellingcat. YouTube: https://t.co/TgRa4XTkAY
Alexander Sarras Profile picture Owl8 Profile picture Alvin Yudistira Profile picture Hakan | ∞/21M Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
May 12 10 tweets 7 min read
NEW INVESTIGATION Shows Russia's 79th Rocket Artillery Brigade launched Smerch cluster bombs into Ukraine's Kharkiv in late February.

The Russian General in charge of the Brigade was also responsible for bombing campaigns in Aleppo.

@CNN @Cen4infoRes edition.cnn.com/2022/05/12/wor… The investigation, a collaboration between @CNN and @Cen4infoRes, identifies Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlyov, responsible for the 79th Rocket Artillery Brigade. This is the same general who oversaw one of the most brutal chapters of Syria's war.
May 11 5 tweets 3 min read
There are quite large fires burning in Russia's Siberia, as seen on satellite imagery from yesterday (May 10). Some of these fires appear to have burn lines longer than 3km.

I have edited the imagery to show where the burning is active with @sentinel_hub. 20km east of Churtan in Tyumen Oblast we can see these large pockets burning away. The southern most burn line extends over 10km.
May 10 4 tweets 2 min read
Twitter has just introduced a new policy aimed at dealing with 'copypasta' and duplicate tweets.

Looking forward to seeing this implemented in future local elections in India where pro-modi networks regularly run large copypasta operations. help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-p… A prime example of where this type of policy would have been helpful last year is this influence operation that used copypasta to push messaging in the Bengali elections to support the BJP and Modi Government.
Apr 10 14 tweets 10 min read
Pro-Russian accounts and 'fake news' sites are trying to claim that satellite imagery from @Maxar, posted by @nytimes, showing bodies on the streets of Ukraine's Bucha are fake, but in this thread, you're going to see how silly pro-Russian disinformation attempts can be 🧵👇 Image Many accounts have posted these claims that Maxar didn't have satellites running over Bucha on March 19. ImageImageImageImage
Dec 10, 2021 20 tweets 17 min read
Today we release a database showing WHERE, WHEN and HOW more than 38,000 buildings were destroyed in Myanmar's Rakhine State between 2017 & 2020.

Here is the data: bit.ly/ocellirakhine. Here is an explainer thread on the work by @ocelliproject @KayleighRuiter & @C4ADS👇🛰️ The data has been turned into a visualisation and interactive website by @C4ADS & @Jack_Mrgln. We wanted to make sure that this data is accessible to all levels of researchers, so please do click around and use it to further your investigations & research ocelli.c4ads.org/datainteractive
Nov 24, 2021 27 tweets 17 min read
A coordinated network of fake accounts posed as Sikh personas to promote the Indian Govt, nationalism & label Sikh activists as terrorists.

They claimed they were #RealSikhs, but were far from it. News on our investigation: bbc.co.uk/news/world-asi… Here is an explainer thread👇 What we know is that their aims were to label Sikh political interests as extremist, stoke cultural tensions within India & overseas & promote the Indian Govt.

So WHO are the #RealSikhs?
WHAT was their aim?
And HOW did they attempt to distort perceptions?
Oct 25, 2021 16 tweets 11 min read
There appears to be an internet blackout in Sudan today after members of the government were arrested during a military coup. @netblocks Sudan is back on the streets in protest against the coup and the arrest of leaders, including PM Hamdock.

This footage is from Omdurman, near Khartoum #SudanUprising.
Apr 17, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
The tag #Remove1991WorshipAct is trending in India today. In fact, it was sitting at #3 in the country a few hours ago.

There's a campaign pushing a specific narrative behind it in a very coordinated way.

Let's take a look at how it works👇 /1 The campaign is first circulated around in a WhatsApp message like this.

It has a directive, time, and a Google Drive link. If you're new to Indian social media campaigns - this is common practice to amplify specific issues, especially during elections. 2/
Mar 14, 2021 26 tweets 22 min read
It’s been six weeks since the Myanmar coup. Despite deaths, violence by security forces, internet shutdowns and night raids, demonstrators brave the streets. This was Hledan, Yangon, last night ✊ For the 31st night in a row the internet has been cut in Myanmar. That, and cell networks have now been offline for two days - @netblocks reports. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar Image
Feb 19, 2021 24 tweets 16 min read
An influence operation was waged online yesterday to amplify pro-BJP text in the #AmitShahInBengal tag, attack opposition, and win over Indian voters. Full report: benjaminstrick.com/inside-an-infl…

This forensic thread details 🧵👇
- HOW it was done
- HOW it spread
- WHO runs them 1. HOW WAS THIS OPERATION CARRIED OUT?

Yesterday morning I came across these tweets, and was sent these WhatsApp messages from contacts in India.

What are they? They're links to a Google Drive, containing suggested tweets and graphics to use. Let's have a closer peek.
Feb 17, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
Facebook just announced it will restrict publishers and users in Australia from sharing or viewing news content.

Here's the breakdown of what that entails 👇
about.fb.com/news/2021/02/c… Image Also an important point. It's not just Australia. The restriction is international, on Australian news publishers.

"Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted".

That will be crippling. Image
Jan 31, 2021 5 tweets 5 min read
Here we go again. Pro-BJP networks are again targeting West Bengali politics using copy and paste text packets to spam the tag #BJPGorbeSonarBangla.

CC @TwitterSafety The copy and paste (copypasta) network is getting its text packets from this Google document. The tweets are in English, Hindi and Bangla.

Thank you to those who sent this through to me. It's an effective campaign to influence the topic of the coming elections.
Jan 11, 2021 16 tweets 16 min read
A copypasta campaign in India is targeting politically-sensitive tags #TMCHataoBanglaBachao & #KrishokSurokhaAbhijan on Twitter. I captured data over the past week for analysis.

Report: benjaminstrick.com/twitter-analys… CC @TwitterSafety

Here's some findings in this #OSINT thread 🧵👇 It's clear there is coordinated activity here. Scores of pro-BJP/Pro-Modi accounts operate in a network to spam packets of text (copypasta method)

Example: the tag #TMCHataoBanglaBachao with the text “Bengal has been suffering from last 10 years. The TMC regime has built..."
Dec 24, 2020 13 tweets 10 min read
Hi Twitter, having spent a lot of time on @googleearth, I've built up a collection art visible from space. I'd like to share some of my favs with you all in this thread 🛰️🎨

First up is the 'grandma' from Ella & Pitr in Pavilion 3, France, located here: goo.gl/maps/KGANS9Cge…. Exhibit 2 is also from Ella & Pitr, this time in Panaji, Goa, India. This one is of a swimmer, taking a rest on the roof of a carpark. It is located here: goo.gl/maps/Wpue1tDEN…. And you can find some of the other ones they did nearby here: xxlcollective.com/ella-pitr1
Dec 7, 2020 11 tweets 7 min read
A small network of fake accounts linked to an Iranian influence operation was posting about COVID & US Politics using accounts with bios & pics copied from UK media and activists & others disguised as 'fanatics'.

Here's my research on @ASPI_ICPC s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ad-aspi/2020-1… First, this investigation originated out of Twitter's data from a influence network takedown in October (screenshot is of data in that report): transparency.twitter.com/en/reports/inf…. The new accounts are the ones that survived.

Second, this network was small and had minimal impact.
Nov 11, 2020 17 tweets 13 min read
For the past month I have been watching the tags #WestPapua & #PapuanLivesMatter.

What I found was a network of Dutch, German & English accounts with fake pics attempting to distort the narrative of independence.

Here's some of the findings in a 🧵👇
bellingcat.com/news/2020/11/1… First, the most interesting trend of HOW.

Many of the accounts across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram used artificially-generated profile pictures (GAN) to disguise themselves. Here's an example from the accounts on Twitter - the detail is in the eyes 👀
Oct 28, 2020 12 tweets 8 min read
Video games pop up in the coverage of global conflicts.

This ongoing thread shows the power of an image-reverse search & value of the community that identifies this stuff

Here is one from #Arma3 claiming it is a real event (been popping up a lot in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict There's a specific tendency to show Arma3 videos with tracer rounds. That appears to get more retweets.

Here was another instance from January this year when people were claiming the US had shot down Iranian missiles.

Nope - Arma3 again.
Oct 5, 2020 13 tweets 10 min read
This shield used by US police to strike this @Channel7 journalist in Washington on June 1 was made in the UK.

This is a 🧵 on the visual forensics on just one of the cases from our #EUArms UK project with @LHreports, @bellingcat, @SkyNews & @guardian 👇
The same shield with the police print can be seen being used against protestors on that same day in Washington.
Oct 2, 2020 4 tweets 4 min read
For the purpose of documentation. One of the strikes landed in this carpark here: goo.gl/maps/XR9psREJj… in Stepanakert (Ստեփանակերտ) #Artsakh. It is indicated in red. Image Alternative angle of strike in #Stepanakert - traceback using visual objects shows origin of video was filmed from here: goo.gl/maps/gxyUzooBs….
Image
Sep 18, 2020 10 tweets 9 min read
Over the past week there has been an increase in pro-Indonesian fake accounts writing in Dutch to influence debate over West Papuan independence.

The tweets primarily use the #FreeWestPapua tag. This thread is to show an example of the low-impact accounts 👇

CC @TwitterSafety Enter #1 @scewenzy. Profile picture is stolen from an LA-based model. Account tweets in Dutch and English with a variety of tags including #freewestpapua. Some of the following accounts were found through this account's retweets & likes. ImageImageImage
Aug 28, 2020 37 tweets 18 min read
This grim video surfaced online on Jan 4, 2020, just after 9pm. It shows a group of young cadets in #Libya hit by a strike for which no one has ever claimed responsibility.

#BBCAfricaEye & @BBCArabic investigated this case for months, and this is what we found. [THREAD] The strike happened in Libya's capital Tripoli, the base for Libya’s Govt of National Accord (GNA).

At the time of this attack, it was under siege from the Libyan National Army (LNA), which fights for a rival government based in the east.