While Russia created bogus social media accounts to sow distrust in the American political system, at times promoting conflicting protests at the same time and place, newly revealed accounts linked to Iran appear to have focused on promoting that country’s interests abroad, especially to Western liberals.
Facebook reported on Tuesday that it’s taken down 652 Facebook pages, groups and accounts linked to the effort and Twitter says it suspended 284 from its service. The campaign, linked to a Iran-linked news site called Liberty Front Press, was first uncovered by the security firm FireEye.
“Broadly speaking, the intent behind this activity appears to be to promote Iranian political interests, including anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli, and pro-Palestinian themes, as well as to promote support for specific U.S. policies favorable to Iran, such as the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA),” according to a FireEye blog post. “In the context of the U.S.-focused activity, this also includes significant anti-Trump messaging and the alignment of social media personas with an American liberal identity. However, it is important to note that the activity does not appear to have been specifically designed to influence the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, as it extends well beyond U.S. audiences and U.S. politics.”
Images from the accounts shared by Facebook included memes mocking President Trump, UK Conservatives and Brexit, as well as promoting Palestine and Quds Day, an Iranian-originated holiday celebrating…