Reuters: Iran widely uses social media to influence public opinion

According to Mikrofonnews Agency (MHA), a new report by Reuters show that Iran is widely using social media pages to influence public opinions covertly.

The report says Iran’s campaign targeting internet users is much bigger than was thought previously. Facebook has recently announced it is monitoring the pages belongs to the government of Iran and Twitter has also said it has blocked 486 accounts attributed to the government of Iran.

A Reuters analysis has identified 10 more sites and dozens of social media accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

U.S.-based cyber-security firm FireEye Inc and Israeli firm ClearSky reviewed Reuters’ findings and said technical indicators showed the web of newly-identified sites and social media accounts – called the International Union of Virtual Media, or IUVM – was a piece of the same campaign, parts of which were taken down last week by Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc.

IUVM pushes content from Iranian state media and other outlets aligned with the government in Tehran across the internet, often obscuring the original source of the information such as Iran’s PressTV, FARS news agency and al-Manar TV run by the Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah. There is no immediate comment from Iran’s government over the report.