A network of hundreds of social media accounts has been working to boost Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election campaign and smear his opponents ahead of next week’s election, the New York Times and Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday, citing a report by a watchdog group.
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An Israeli watchdog group has found a network of hundreds of social media accounts, many of them fake, used to smear opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in next week’s election and to amplify the messages of his Likud party, according to a report to be released Monday.
The messages posted on the network’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are frequently reposted by prominent Likud campaign officials and by the prime minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu, the report says.
According to the findings of the Big Bots Project, this network has posted more than 130,000 times in Hebrew on Facebook and Twitter – posts that have had 2.5 million hits in Israel. These posts have the sole purpose of praising Netanyahu and spreading false information about his rivals, primarily his main challenger Benny Gantz, the former IDF chief who leads the Blue and White Party.