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How many fake accounts are engaged in #Greenwashing Cop28 on Twitter?
Read on to find out...
1/There is a large, multilingual astroturfing effort around #Cop28 on Twitter right now involving at least 100 fake accounts. The accounts in question are promoting UAE foreign policy, bashing UAE's enemies, and burnishing the UAE's environmental record #deception #greenwashing
2/ Many use stolen photos - either stock photos or those found on the web. They have fully fleshed out bios, including location (usually somewhere in the UAE). Another common tactic is to tag real accounts like @amnesty in the bio to give an air of credibility and plausibility.
3/ For example. Yael Fadel is a space scientist from Cyprus who erm, has tagged @NASA in her bio. I can only assume she works for NASA (hey guys can you confirm?) . When she's not also a stock photo model used by orthodontists, she's subtweeting the Muslim Brotherhood
4/ But Yael isn't the only Cypriot space scientist who also happens to have a mosque as a banner photo and tweets about the UAE, their green credentials, and occasionally the Muslim Broterhood. Meet Georgia Vasiliou. Oh yeah, and her account is verified....
5/ Ok one more Cypriot high-flyer living in Dubai with a verified account and a penchant for tweeting about the UAE and the Muslim Brotherhood. Maybe I am ignorant, but I also didn't realise how diverse Cyprus was. Kudos!
6/ We get it guys, you hate the Muslim brotherhood, but can you use a different stock photo?
7/ There are a few more verified accounts too (Good job Musk). This is Sara Mohammed, she's from Iraq, loves maximising returns (I mean who doesn't) and tweets a lot about the climate. She's also a stock photo model who likes foliage.
8/ But my personal favourite is Viyan Mahmud who I presume works for @amnesty. Her image is obviously AI generated. How do we know? Well the odd earrings and composition are a giveaway
9/ but the clincher is the fact who ever created it forgot to completely remove the 'this person does not exist' watermark from the top.
(for those who don't know, this person does not exist is a site that generates AI photoquality faces)
10/ The network has devoted a lot of time tweeting in support of Sultan Al Jaber. Sultan AL Jaber is the Cop28 President and is controversial because he is also CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (adnoc)
11/ Yesterday the Guardian reported that Al Jaber's team had edited a Wikipedia entry to state he was '“precisely the kind of ally the climate movement needs". This quote was taken from a Bloomberg editorial
Cop28 president’s team accused of Wikipedia ‘greenwashing’Exclusive: UAE using site to ‘control narrative’ amid criticism of oil boss leading climate summit, say criticshttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/30/cop28-president-team-accused-of-wikipedia-greenwashing-sultan-al-jaber
12/ Another terrifying development is the impossibly sultry, band of American environmental workers who are either AI-generated or from the same sci-fi novel. 2023: A Midjourney Odyssey?
13/ In addition to #COP28 many have been tweeting about Sudan recently. The general stance seems to be against Burhan, which puts them in line with UAE foreign policy. A lot of the content is just thanking UAE for aid to Sudan.
14/ The network is also tweeting in multiple languages, including Spanish, German and Arabic. There are also a lot of accounts that appear to be self-described as from Pakistan. The network has produced around 30000 tweets since its inception.
15/ Will try add more later but I don't know who runs the network. It has a lot of overlaps with one promoting the expo a while back. Looks likes some marketing or PR firm tasked with strategic messaging for an entity in the UAE - but this is just a logical assumption based on… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…