Alethea examined how disinformation tactics are being used in social media to influence individuals. Specifically, Alethea studied X (formerly Twitter) accounts that they believed were being leveraged by Russia’s main military intelligence directorate to influence U.S. citizens on the war in Ukraine.

Alethea analyzed 5,314 accounts on X (formerly Twitter) and 81 websites that the company believed were being used by a Russian military intelligence directorate, commonly known as the GRU, in February – March 2024. Accounts were classified in two ways:
— “Poster” accounts that create content
— “Amplifier” accounts from the same group that repost poster accounts or quote “poster” account content

Key findings include:
1.) Amplifier accounts used the “Invisible Ink” technique (re-sharing poster account content without additional text) to amplify “poster” account content in reply threads in order to go undetected.
2.) At least 50 accounts shared original posts in English about U.S. domestic and foreign policy containing images and external links.
3.) Despite the fact that a majority of these accounts had zero followers and only published one or two total posts, the posts by poster accounts consistently received approximately 1,300 or 2,600 reposts and over 5,000 views, which is a result of of inauthentic amplification.
4.) At least five accounts shared original posts about foreign and domestic policy in a mix of English, French, German, and Ukrainian.

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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