Sadiq Khan says hundreds of thousands spent on anti-Ulez Twitter manipulation | Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan is predicted to say that “hundreds of thousands of dollars” have been spent on an anti-Ulez on-line manipulation marketing campaign on Twitter, citing analysis performed after Labour’s surprising Uxbridge byelection defeat.

The London mayor, who will converse at a convention in New York on Tuesday, mentioned he feared that disinformation and manipulation campaigns have been “spreading apace” nevertheless it was not all the time clear who was behind them.

In line with remarks launched earlier than his speech, Khan will inform social media firms: “You do not need to wait to be led. You wield incredible power. It’s long overdue you meet your responsibilities and bear down on the attempts to distort truth.”

The mayor mentioned there was proof that “hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on the anti-Ulez online manipulation campaign on Twitter alone” however “we have no idea who was behind the campaign”.

Analysis performed by the social media analysts Valent in July concluded there was proof of “an extensive online campaign targeted to undermine support for the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez)” earlier than the Uxbridge byelection.

It discovered that 48% of the accounts on Twitter, now often called X, mentioning Ulez have been created after November 2022, and of these about 90% “exhibited signs of inauthenticity”, utilizing generic names and with a excessive proportion of pretend followers.

These accounts – known as spreaders – have been primarily engaged in retweeting anti-Ulez opinions from actual individuals or teams against growth of the world coated by the £12.50 day by day cost for outdated, polluting autos throughout all of London in August.

The purpose, the researchers concluded, was to have “thousands of accounts promoting anti-Ulez content on to users’ timelines”. Valent mentioned it solely checked out anti-Ulez accounts on Twitter, not different social media websites, nevertheless it believed the marketing campaign value at the least £168,000.

Labour did not take Boris Johnson’s outdated seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in July by 495 votes, regardless of massive swings in opposition to the Conservatives in two different English seats the identical day. The social gathering’s surprising defeat was blamed on the unpopularity of the Ulez growth to outer London, prompting recriminations inside Labour.

Khan accepts there are “genuine concerns about the impact of Ulez expansion”, however he believes it’s attainable that these considerations might have been amplified by social media manipulation, and that the approach might be utilized in future.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the anti-Ulez misinformation assault was a precursor for a much larger attack on future climate and environmental policies,” the mayor is predicted so as to add, when he speaks on the Robust Cities Community at Columbia College in New York.

skip previous e-newsletter promotion

In February, the Guardian reported {that a} workforce of Israeli contractors sells a complicated software program package deal Superior Impression Media Options, or Goals, which may management greater than 30,000 faux social media profiles, and can be utilized to unfold disinformation at scale and at velocity.

Labour’s John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, will even say on a visit to Washington DC that the US and UK must be on “high alert” for attainable election interference from Moscow and elsewhere as each international locations put together to go to the polls within the subsequent 16 months.

He argues for the creation of a brand new US-UK Democratic Resilience Centre reflecting considerations concerning the influence of the Russian hack and leak of Democratic social gathering emails within the run-up to the 2016 US election that helped result in the victory of Donald Trump, and ideas, by no means totally investigated, that there was Russian interference within the Brexit referendum.

Source Link

Spread the love

Leave a Reply