US-Iran debates: Fake writers and state-funded trolling | The Listening Post
On The Listening Post this week: Taxpayer-funded smears and a well-published but fake activist – worrying twists in the US-Iran online battle. Plus, the YouTube influencers of the Algerian protests.
As the Trump administration continues with its hawkish talk on Iran, we need to look at how that story is being crafted and by whom: Heshmat Alavi was once cited by the White House as a credible commentator on Iran. Shame he doesn’t exist.
It turns out he is a fictional persona reportedly created by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group opposed to the Iranian government and supported by Washington.
Then there is the Iran Disinformation Project funded entirely by the American taxpayer, ostensibly to counter Iranian propaganda, it trolls and sometimes smears Iranian-American commentators and journalists online.
Negar Mortazavi – consultant editor, The Independent
Maral Karimi – author, The Iranian Green Movement of 2009
Trita Parsi – founder, National Iranian American Council
Tara Sepehri Far – Iran researcher, Human Rights Watch