Oh, Putin, you sly fox! Of course, when there’s a chance to sow division among Western enemies, Vladimir Putin and his gang of disinformation spreaders are going to jump on it faster than you can say “propaganda.”
Since the Israeli-Hamas war broke out on October 7th, those Kremlin-linked Facebook accounts have been working overtime—showing up in our feeds almost 400 percent more. They’re all about that Middle East crisis now. It’s like they’ve suddenly discovered a passion for sharing their thoughts on Israel and Palestine.
And boy oh boy, do they have some whoppers to share! Like claiming that Hamas terrorists are using NATO weapons against Israel or suggesting that British instructors trained those sneaky attackers from Hamas. Oh yes, Russia is pulling out all the stops with these tall tales!
This ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas serves as not one but two golden opportunities for Russia. First off, it allows them to stir things up in the West by targeting social media posts at people who support Israel versus those who back Palestine. Yep, nothing brings people together quite like a good ol’ fashioned online argument.
But wait—there’s more! This whole Middle East mess also conveniently shifts attention away from Russia’s own little war over in Ukraine. You know—the one where things haven’t exactly gone according to plan? Yeah, well apparently Putin would rather we didn’t notice that little hiccup.
“Taking attention off Ukraine is only a good thing for Russia,” says Bret Schafer of the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Alliance for Securing Democracy (quite the mouthful). He adds: “The more we focus on Israel and Hamas…the less we’re paying attention to Congress about funding Ukraine.” So basically if we’re busy arguing about what’s happening in Gaza instead of what’s happening over yonder with Kyiv…all goes according to Vlad’s grand plan!
Putin Power Play
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p>The Russian propaganda machine has been hard at work since October 7th when this whole mess started. I mean seriously—they’ve posted around 44k times just during this period compared to only around 14k before everything kicked off! That’s an impressive jump even by Instagram influencer standards!</p>
p>In fact—get this—Russian-backed social media activity was shared almost four hundred thousand times collectively!! That’s right: four hundred THOUSAND—not your average day-to-day internet trolling behavior.</p>
h3>Surfing The Wave</h3>
p>Russian bots don’t discriminate; they’ll use anything they can get their hands on—including real news—to spread anti-West messages far and wide across the digital universe because hey—they’re competing with actual legit sources after all!</p>
<i>Psst...did you hear? Some folks are starting to question whether governments should keep supporting Ukraine against Mother Russia due partly—or maybe mostly—to some clever digital trickery from Team Putin.
I mean come on—who knew France could blame its recent turmoil between pro-Israelis and pro-Palestinians solely on covert Russian cyber shenanigans?
I tell ya—it ain’t easy being an online troll these days….