Bots, Assange, an alliance: Has Russian propaganda infiltrated the Philippines?

PROPAGANDA ACCOUNT. @ivan226622 is one of many fake accounts that have been used for Russian propaganda. Screenshot by Rappler

By Natshaya Gutierrez/rappler.com – At the peak of the Catalan independence movement in Spain, Twitter account @Ivan226622 tweeted 139 news items.

From September 29 to October 9, @Ivan226622 – like accounts @rickrick888 and @bobbit2266 – tweeted articles created by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik. Both RT and Sputnik are Russian government-funded news sites that serve to spread Russian propaganda.

Top Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that all 3 Twitter accounts shared news articles in support of Catalan independence. All 3 tweeted 24 hours a day. All 3 tweeted the exact same articles at the exact same times.

The 3 accounts were “part of an online army of robot profiles, who, armed with gasoline canisters brimming with fake news, stalk social media and fan the flames of debate as ordered by their generals,” said Spain’s widest read newspaper and second most read online news site.

“At the beginning of October, this army went to work on the issue of Catalan independence. Evidence shows a total of 87% of the 65 accounts who most shared RT and Sputnik content were automated,” El Pais said.

“Those accounts helped ensure that Russian news outlets were the fourth most influential in the digital conversation about Catalonia.”

By November, the Spanish government said they had evidence that Russian-based groups used Twitter, Facebook, and other sites to back the Catalonia referendum, in an attempt to destabilize Spain.

But it seems that @Ivan226622, an account used for Russian propaganda, has since changed gears: it is now tweeting exclusively about the Philippines.

FULL STORY

Find more like this: News

  • She was the enemy of Philippine President Duterte, and her fellow judges just sacked her
  • Overlooked No More: Leticia Ramos Shahani, a Philippine Women’s Rights Pioneer
  • Duty Free Philippines to open luxury store at SM Mall of Asia complex
  • Beijing ‘installs missiles’ on South China Sea islands
  • Humans were in Philippines thousands of years before previously thought
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

    Entertainment

  • A New Netflix Series Tells the Story of the Philippines’ Drug War. But Its Critics Are Condemning Amo as Propaganda
  • Where in the Philippines was a scene from ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ shot?
  • CLOSEUP: ‘Lion King’ to include Pinoy flavor in world-class show
  • ‘Riverdale’ stars call out PH magazine for ‘disrespectful’ photoshop editing
  • Pixar’s first female supervising animator is Pinoy
  • MORE...

    Features

  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • The Box That Brings Christmas to the Philippines
  • ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ swims 23 kilometers for peace in Mindanao
  • Former Pinoy dishwasher now owner of pizzeria in Italy
  • Women’s servitude blights Philippine society
  • MORE...

    Tourism

  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • El Nido to impose daily visitor limits in 3 iconic tourist sites
  • Philippines starts building world’s first resort airport
  • MORE...

    Sports

  • Manny Pacquiao v Lucas Matthysse: Filipino’s career ‘not over’
  • ABL: Justin Brownlee is getting more Pinoy by the day
  • Gilas beats Japan again in FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers
  • 2018 Winter Olympics: Philippines’ Asa Miller lands 70th in giant slalom
  • Michael Christian Martinez: Olympian and pioneer in Philippine figure skating
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • Which countries pay OFWs the highest?
  • MORE...

    Environment

  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • Mindanao plants 3M trees in an hour, challenges world record
  • Fighting for sharks in the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces