“Platform Manipulation” by the US-backed MEK to launch war against Iran

“We want Twitter to be a place where people can make human connections, find reliable information, and express themselves freely and safely,” Twitter help center asserts.

However, twitter has turned out to be a field for a “troll farm” of a thousand people inside the camps of Mujahedin Khalq (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Rajavi’s Cult) who work in three shifts to launch anti Iran disinformation advocating war and sanctions against Iran. Former member of the group Hassan Heirani who left it in 2017 has revealed the fact to various news outlets including the Guardian (November 2018) that have interviewed him.

Hasan Heyrani, MKO former member in Tirana

And the most recent account on the MEK’s campaign of disinformation against Iran was exposed by Murtaza Hussein of the Intercept: The case of the fictional persona Heshmat Alavi who was run by a hundred operators in the MEK’s troll farm. [1]

This is definitely considered “Platform Manipulation”. So Twitter suspended the so-called Heshmat Alavi’s account.

Alavi’s Twitter account.
Screenshot: The Intercept

Platform manipulation refers to the use of Twitter to mislead others and/or disrupt their experience by engaging in bulk, aggressive, or deceptive activity, according to the Twitter protocols. “This activity includes, but is not limited to, spam, malicious automation (malicious use of bots), and inauthentic account abuse (fake accounts).”
On March 2019, Twitter Help Center published an overview of platform manipulation and spam policy, defining it as using Twitter to engage in bulk, aggressive, or deceptive activity that misleads others and/or disrupts their experience. Twitter’s rule on accounts and identity states: “You can’t mislead others on Twitter by operating fake accounts. This includes using misleading account information to engage in spamming, abusive, or disruptive behavior.”
Misleading people by absolute charlatanism is not a new phenomenon. This has been used far earlier than the social media was created. A Concept like “freedom fighter” was once manipulated when it turned out to be “another man’s terrorist”. The concept is actually based on the famous proverb: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That is why a team account run by a terrorist cult-like MEK is introduced as “an Iranian activist with a passion for equal rights” in the right wing US media.

John Limbert former official of US embassy in Tehran states in the American Prospect, “The MEK has made no secret of its goals: to provoke a war between the U.S. and Iran. In the aftermath, it calculates it would move into the wreckage and pick up the pieces.” [2]

Presenting a story of the MEK’s violent past and its anti-national approaches that has made it isolated among the Iranian public, Limbert warns the US authorities about the threat of the MEK as a violent cult. “Finally, we must never stop asking, “Who is pushing for war with Iran and why?””, he writes. “The answer should make it very clear we have no business provoking this conflict to serve the interests of an Iranian cult and its paid spokesman. [3]
Jason Rezaian of the Washington Post concludes his recent article on the IS-backed trolls on the Internet, “So, instead of resorting to false narratives and personal attacks, we should cultivate our Iran policy — because there still isn’t a coherent one — the old-fashioned way: by making real arguments, backing them up with actual evidence and prioritizing real people over the tactics of manipulation and fraud preferred by authoritarians.” [4]
Helen Buyniski of Russia Today editorial warns, “Alavi may have been unmasked, but there could be thousands more where he came from.” Refering to the recent removal of 4,779 Twitter accounts “associated or backed by Tehran”, she writes, “Twitter’s attempts to aid the US war effort by deplatforming thousands of pro-Iran accounts is an implicit endorsement of their activities. The Intercept’s comprehensive investigation of the Alavi persona essentially dropped the key to the MEK’s propaganda network in Twitter’s lap; their refusal to act on this information, merely removing the Alavi account without investigating the swamp of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” surrounding it, indicates they are content with being weaponized in the US propaganda war against Iran. Trolling is fine, as long as it’s “our guys” doing it.” [5]
The enemy of US enemy is the MEK. It is “their guys” because it is perfectly running their policy against Iranian nation. It is considered “freedom fighter” because it is considered terrorist by the Iranian nation. No surprise when President Trump calls Iranians “nation of terror” and uses the fictional stories fabricated by the terrorist MEK’s fictional persona to justify his policies against the Iranian nation. No matter that the MEK has the blood of thousands of people including six American nationals in its hands.
Mazda Parsi

References:
[1]Hussain, Murtaza, An Iranian Activist Wrote Dozens of Articles for Right-Wing Outlets. But Is He a Real Person?, The Intercept, June 9th, 2019.
[2] Limbert, John, The Trump Administration’s Iran Fiasco, The American Prospect
June 5th, 2019.
[3] ibid
[4] Rezaian, Jason, Why does the U.S. need trolls to make its Iran case?, The Washington Post, June 11th, 2019.
[5] Buyniski, Helen, Backing Pompeo’s ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident is a massive anti-Iran online propaganda campaign, Russia Today, June 14th, 2019

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