Left-wing bot army trying to affect Israeli election outcome, report says

Left-wing organizers do not deny the existence of their fake news campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu.

By World Israel News Staff

Left-wing activists are operating an extensive network of bots and a huge array of fake accounts with the aim of influencing the results of the upcoming national election in Israel, Channel 20 reported Monday.

“It is a totally real bot network operated by agents on the Israeli left,” reporter Moti Kastel claimed. “We are talking about an extensive bot network and an enormous array of fake accounts with the purpose of illegally influencing the results of the election.”

A “secret” venture called the “Digital Underground” was set up some six months ago, the report said, claiming that a website explaining the project named “New Israel” has the goal of establishing “a media arm for an effective and sophisticated digital war on the Balfour propaganda machine” – referring to Balfour Street, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence is located.

Anti-government protestors have been demonstrating near the residence for much of the past year, with some of those protests turning violent.

According to Kastel, the New Israel website states: “We have developed a secret weapon that can enable the camp of change to double its power and presence. In the last news before the election, there could be an earthquake that would completely disrupt them [the right].”

WIN was unable to locate the New Israel website mentioned in the Channel 20 report.

According to Kastel’s report, the bot uses a special plugin that causes anyone who joins and follows a pre-defined user, known as the “Super Liker,” to automatically share and distribute the selected content. Users were given instructions on how to create fictitious profiles on the various platforms and carry out activities so as not to be blocked by Facebook.

The messages sent out by the Digital Underground are from the anti-Netanyahu protest movements, which the report says are led by Guy Etgar and Dafna Ofek, two left-wing activists who specialize in the field of communications.

Contacted by Channel 20, the Digital Underground did not deny the accusations against them.

“We are pleased that Channel 20 has finally found time to address the bots phenomenon,” the organization told the station. “It is a pity that the channel does not show the same interest in the huge array of bots… that serves Netanyahu’s political interest in a well-oiled propaganda mechanism.”