Monday, 15 October, 2018

Iran’s foreign minister attacks Twitter for allowing ‘pro-regime change bots’

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Iran’s foreign minister has accused Twitter of double standards in shutting down the profiles of real Iranians while letting an army of fake bot accounts continue unhindered.

Javad Zarif urged the platform’s CEO Jack Dorsey to investigate “actual bots in Tirana used to prop up ‘regime change’ propaganda spewed out of (Washington) DC”.

It follows reports alleging an Iranian exiles’ camp outside the Albanian capital has become a troll farm promoting and amplifying critical material in the wake of widespread Iranian unrest since the start of the year.

The camp houses members of the MEK, an Iranian opposition group accused of cultish activity.

It is claimed the camp’s residents use multiple false social media accounts to incite regime change in Iran.

Twitter and Facebook last month removed hundreds of accounts linked to allegedly pro-Iranian propaganda operations.

But both companies are accused by Iran of one-sided censorship.

Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, has also urged Twitter to “close the fraudulent accounts”, accusing the company of pushing out “millions of daily messages” inviting followers to view press reports about the alleged Albanian troll farm.

MEK, or “People’s Mujahideen of Iran”, is a controversial organisation. It incurred the abiding contempt of many Iranians by fighting alongside Iraq in the long-running devastating war with Iran in the 80s.

Long proscribed as a terror organisation, MEK has to some extent been rehabilitated in the West.

It is reported to have paid tens of thousands of dollars to Republican politicians to address its rallies.

Politicians who have reached positions of influence or high office, including US national security adviser John Bolton and Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have praised the organisation as an alternative government in waiting for Iran.

The group’s critics, however, condemn its cult like secrecy and bizarre practices, including a ban on sexual thoughts.

Via: Sky Newa

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