Revealed: Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib targeted in far-right fake news operation

 
Israeli-based group uses Facebook to spread disinformation to more than a million followers around the world, singling out Muslim US congresswomen

Inside the hate factory: how Facebook fuels far-right profit

Coordinated Facebook posts made by an Israel-based group have vilified Muslim politicians such as Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Photograph: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

David Smith, Michael McGowan , Christopher Knaus and Nick Evershed
Thu 5 Dec 2019

theguardian.com

 

Two Muslim US congresswomen have been targeted by a vast international operation that exploits far-right pages on Facebook to inflame Islamophobia for profit, a Guardian investigation has found.

A mysterious Israeli-based group uses 21 Facebook pages to churn out more than a thousand coordinated fake news posts per week to more than a million followers around the world. It milks the traffic for revenue from digital advertising.

Monetising hate: covert enterprise co-opts far-right Facebook pages to churn out anti-Islamic posts

Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who earlier this year became the first Muslim women to serve in the US Congress, have been singled out for vicious attacks by the coordinated effort.

Somali-born Omar is the most frequent target. She has been mentioned in more than 1,400 posts since the network began two years ago. Tlaib has been mentioned nearly 1,200 times. Both totals are far higher than any other member of Congress.

Omar and Tlaib are members of a group of progressive women of color known as “the squad” that also includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. They have been subject to racist insults from Donald Trump.

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