Instagram Becomes IRA’s Platform of Choice for Misinformation Campaigns

By Nitish Singh / December 18, 2018

After Facebook and Twitter started targeting fake news websites ahead of the US mid-term elections earlier this year, Instagram slowly became the social media platform of choice for misinformation campaigns by state-led organizations. The Internet Research Agency is a Russian organization that actively influences social media platforms based on the political interests of the Kremlin.

A report was recently published by the Senate Intelligence Committee revealing that the IRA has managed to influence millions of users through its network of accounts on the platform. The IRA is responsible for spreading misinformation on political and social justice issues. The profiles by themselves are cunningly managed to influence American users.

The “Disinformation Report” states “Although they produced content targeting many political and cultural groups, the IRA created a uniquely expansive, interlinked fraudulent Black media ecosystem consisting of their own sites interwoven with authentic Black media and Black-owned small businesses to a degree not seen with other communities or groups. “

Instagram Stats

Image Courtesy of The Disinformation Report

According to the report, the IRA targets both left and right allied citizens as well as black Americans. A multi-level influence campaign is deployed across the organization’s accounts. Some of the issues discussed by the accounts include Christianity, veterans, gun rights, black culture, feminism, and LGBTQ+ issues. Over 10 million interactions have already been garnered by the IRA on Instagram.

A number of IRA Instagram accounts also impersonate official news outlets and American journalists to create distrust amongst users. The end goal of the Russian organization is to create disputes amongst Americans through political and social topics. A white paper and slide deck have been published in the Disinformation Report with in-depth information on the IRA’s activities.

Misinformation has become a massive problem not only in the USA but also in other parts of the world. Social media websites have been dragged into the controversy by legal authorities and governments about their inability to control the widespread issue and measures have been taken by nearly all of the platforms to curb fake news.

What do you think about the IRA’s involvement in Instagram? Let us know in the comments below. Get instant updates on TechNadu’s Facebook page, or Twitter handle.

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