All FSI News Blogs July 8, 2021

My Heart Loves the Army

An Investigation into a Jordanian Disinformation Campaign on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter
graphic with images of a Facebook post, a TikTok video and a tweet all praising the Jordanian military.

On July 8, 2021, Facebook announced the removal of a domestic Jordanian disinformation network. The network included 35 Pages, 3 Groups, 89 profiles, and 16 Instagram accounts. Facebook attributes the network to "individuals in Jordan including those associated with the Jordanian military." It suspended the network not due to the content of the posts, but rather for coordinated inauthentic behavior. We believe this is the first time a social media platform has publicly suspended a disinformation network operating in Jordan. Facebook shared a portion of this network’s activity with the Stanford Internet Observatory on June 23, 2021. 

 

Key takeaways:

  • The network posted content supportive of Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the Jordanian military. 

  • The activities of the network included leveraging discussions from Clubhouse (the audio-only social media platform) and creating accounts on TikTok; we believe this is the first instance of such behaviors with these newer platforms. The TikTok portion of this network was very small, attracted little engagement, and primarily shared other accounts’ videos.

  • The network’s Facebook Pages shared professionally produced videos that claimed Prince Hamzah - arrested in April 2021 on sedition charges - was willing to sacrifice control over Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem in exchange for growing his personal power. One video shared across many Pages presented a recording from Clubhouse about Prince Hamzah, accusing foreigners of using Clubhouse as part of “fourth generation social media warfare.” 

  • The network shared religious videos criticizing ISIS’s interpretation of Islam that may have been designed to reduce support for the group in Jordan. 

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