Kremlin: Olena Kurilo became the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Filled with blood and bandaged, the teacher, 53, said. He could not believe what had happened to him and his hometown of Chuhuiv.
His picture was on the front pages of newspapers all over the world.
Over the next few days, Russian government communications accounts began posting a video saying Olena was not injured at all.
“The pictures are very good, they were full of stories,” said a Russian correspondent.
The video states that Olena Kremlin was photographed two days later, unharmed.
“A few days later, it’s good for him, not scratches.”
But what makes this conspiracy theory so strange is that. Tt is shared by the official Twitter account of the Russian government. The Russian Mission in Geneva. Two weeks ago, the tweet was live.
Russian government has a large network of official Twitter accounts
The Russian government has a large network of official Twitter accounts – the BBC has received more than 100 of them. They range from accounts representing foreign ambassadors or agents. With a few thousand followers, to those with more than a million followers. President Putin has his own account. Many accounts are listed as Russian government agencies by Twitter.
However, while many of these accounts have spread disinformation. Twitter has been working with them in a different way to the Russian media. Such as RT or Sputnik.
On February 28, Twitter announced that it would block media tweets working. With the Russian government to qualify for “enlargement”. Leaning they would not be recommended on local timeline, notifications, and other sites on Twitter. But Twitter has confirmed to the BBC that the policy does not include Russian government accounts.
QUT Digital Media Research Center
Tim Graham, a social media analyst at QUT Digital Media Research Center . In Australia, describes this as a “hole” in Twitter’s rating policies. Allowing the Russian government to release false information.
“Certainly a blind spot in Twitter’s defense against disinformation,” he said.
Surprised by the Russian government’s spider account, Mr Graham – who specializes in social media analysis – decided to investigate further. He analyzed 75 Russian government Twitter profiles, totaling more than 7 million followers. Accounts gained 30 million likes, re-recorded 36 million times and responded 4 million times.
He checked how often each Twitter account repeats one of the 74 profiles during the hour. He found that the Kremlin Network of Twitter accounts worked together to resubmit and further traffic congestion. This practice is sometimes called “astroturfing”. In which the owner of a few accounts uses the profiles. He or she manages to resubmit content and increase access.
Integrated retweet network, “said Mr Graham.
“If these accounts did not return items simultaneously, the network would be a bunch of disconnected dots. So what the network shows, very clearly, is that there is a very tight connection. To the way these accounts resend.
“They use this as an engine to drive their favorite story on Twitter, and they are successful,” he said.
Combined activity, using multiple accounts of Kremlin, violates Twitter rules.
“You can’t automatically increase conversations by using multiple accounts,” says Twitter rules.
But Twitter does not treat all accounts equally. The company says on its website there may be a public interest in seeing tweets that could violate its rules.
However, the company does not treat legal accounts differently when it comes to formal conduct – no exemptions.
Ambassador himself wrote on Twitter
On March 10, the ambassador himself wrote on Twitter. That the bombing of a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol was fraudulent. The account says the women who were photographed at the scene were actors.
A picture of a woman with a frame, “FAKE” on it, is attached. The claim was false.
Twitter has removed a few tweets claiming the “FAKE” claim, after the BBC flagged them. However there are many other examples of Russian disinformation still in the Russian government’s Twitter accounts.
The baseless claim that Olena Kurilo was not really harmed still exists.
Unjustified allegations that Ukraine has bioweapons shared by the Russian network are still on the rise. As is the claim of an imminent chemical attack on the Ukrainian people.
The problem Twitter has is that proving false content can be dirty and complicated during the war.
Savvas Zannettou, a social media analyst at Delft University of Technology. In the Netherlands, says the war makes police work even more difficult on social media.
“Successful evaluation is not possible … information is coming at a high rate, and it is everywhere,” he said.
There seem to be two things going on here. Mixed and incomplete information means only examples of inaccurate information. That is easy to prove have been dropped on forums.
They asked Twitter if tweets from Russian embassies and consulates.
Russian embassy accounts
Twitter said: “We have taken many steps to enforce the Russian embassy accounts, including requiring the removal of Tweets.”
Twitter also said it would do more in the coming days to flag the Kremlin-linked accounts. “We will be expanding our government account labels to additional Russian embassies to add people to the context.