Hundreds of anti-Israel bots promoting Eurovision boycott campaign exposed
Israel has uncovered a network of bots and fake Twitter accounts urging a boycott of the upcoming Israeli-hosted Eurovision song contest.
Beginning in November 2018, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs launched an in-depth examination of the social media influence campaign to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, leading to its release by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs titled, “The Big Scam- How BDS is Manipulating Social Media against Eurovision 2019”.
Ministry of Strategic Affairs revealed a synchronized campaign of fake bot accounts under the hashtag #BoycottEurovision2019.
“Coordinated manipulation” campaigns are banned under Twitter’s terms and conditions.
Among the performers targeted were Madonna, Bilal Hassani (France), Alessandro Mahmoud (Italy), Michael Rice (UK) and Sarah McTernan (Ireland), and participating countries’ broadcast authorities.
It is estimated that the tweets had a potential reach of 9.7 million users.
Minister Gilad Erdan said BDS activists “are trying every deceptive method to attack Israel.”
Twitter confirmed it suspended “a small network of accounts” in response to the Israeli complaint.
Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said:
“Today we have revealed the fake social media campaign to pressure artists performing in this year’s Eurovision to boycott the contest. Instead of believing in culture as a tool to unite, Israel’s detractors try to use it to divide. Israel is a vibrant democracy which provides a safe-haven of freedom in the Middle East for its wide mix of cultures, people and religions. I call on all artists of the world to reject BDS’s hate-filled and bigoted campaign and continue to unite the world with their music.”