Pro-Iranian trolls plant dozens of fake stories on legitimate news sites

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has promised Trump to help quell protests against police violence. UAE has made covert and illegal contributions to Trump campaign. American Chicken McNuggets will give you COVID.

These are just a few of articles that three “journalists” – Sadia Ben Yousef, Rumaisa Hanaoui and Ahlam al-Shumayli – have published in dozens of articles since May 2019. But it is not just stories that they are all wrong. They are all based on spoofed websites, spoofed screenshots, or non-existent events. And as Facebook reported on Tuesday, a number of them have been publicized by Iran-based trolls using fake accounts.

A joint investigation by Daily Beast and intelligence Mandiant Threat identified dozens of these bogus articles published in 35 different Arab media outlets during a nearly two-year disinformation frenzy that drove pro-Iran narratives to whitewash United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. in legitimate media by bogus journalists.

After The Daily Beast contacted Twitter about Hanaoui and al-Shumayli’s accounts in October, the company suspended them for violating Twitter’s spam handling and platform rules. The Daily Beast could not find any social media accounts with Ben Yousef’s name.

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