Georgia

Coordinated Covert Operation of Alt-Info on Facebook

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) has been continuously monitoring social media sites and identified 34 pages on Facebook that display coordinated inauthentic behavior and are associated with the organization Alt-Info that spreads divisive narratives. Alt-Info is a self-proclaimed source of alternative information but in reality it is engaged in anti-liberal, anti-immigration, anti-LGBTQ and anti-Western propaganda. Through these pages Alt-Info is attempting to disseminate its content among Facebook users massively and in a disguised manner. 12 of these pages are openly associated with Alt-Info and other 22 have covert association. In addition to 34 pages, ISFED also found 25 public groups where Alt-Info news are actively shared. 

During the 2018 presidential election, through social media monitoring ISFED revealed that Alt-Info is actively opposing values of liberal democracy and uses Facebook to disseminates mostly anti-liberal, nationalist, openly anti-Western and anti-immigration messages. According to Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab - DFRLab, Alt-Info is posing as a reliable source but in reality, it is working to incite anti-Western and homophobic sentiments.

Disguised and propaganda methods used by Alt-Info are part of disinformation campaign, directed at polarization of the society and it may be used as one of the tools for Russia’s interference in the parliamentary elections of Georgia. These suspicions are reinforced by inviting one of the main ideologists (Aleksandr Dugin) of Russia’s expansive policy as a guest on Alt-Info’s live program and disseminating his interview using inauthentic methods, in order for the public to view the Russian-Georgian conflict from Russian perspective and blame Georgia’s pro-European course.

ISFED continues to monitor social networks in order to uncover inauthentic coordinated behavior in the context of elections and related with spreading anti-Western, anti-liberal narratives.

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