State-sponsored Internet sockpuppetry
State-sponsored internet sockpuppetry is a government's use of sockpuppets with the intention of swaying online opinion, undermining dissident communities, or changing the perception of what is the dominant view (often via astroturfing).
The following is a list of the known or alleged examples of state-sponsored internet sockpuppetry:
- China: Internet Water Army, 50 Cent Party, in operation since October 2004
- Israel: "Covert units", being planned in August 2013.
- Russia: Web brigades, first alleged in April 2003
- Ukraine: iArmy, a volunteer operation established in February 2015 by Ukraine’s Ministry of Information Policy
- United Kingdom: 1. "Online Covert Action" and other missions by the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, revealed in February 2014. 2. 77th Brigade, planned to start in April 2015.
- United States: 1. Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, founded in 2010. 2. Operation Earnest Voice, officially started in 2011.
- Israel: Government pays students to fight internet battles. BBC. August 14, 2013.
- Ukraine is now recruiting an ‘iArmy’. Meduza February 23, 2015
- Snowden: ‘Training Guide’ for GCHQ, NSA Agents Infiltrating and Disrupting Alternative Media Online. February 25, 2014.
- Greenwald, Glenn and Andrew Fishman. Controversial GCHQ Unit Engaged in Domestic Law Enforcement, Online Propaganda, Psychology Research. The Intercept. 2015-06-22.
- British army creates team of Facebook warriors. The Guardian. Jan 31, 2015.
- Why It's So Hard to Stop ISIS Propaganda. The Atlantic. 2015-03-02.
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