Israel Buys Tech for Mass Influence Operations
by Kyle Anzalone | Jan 17, 2024
Israel has acquired systems that are designed to manage online discussions. Tel Aviv hopes the new technology can improve its sagging image, especially in the US. While Israel has been firmly backed by President Joe Biden, many of his supporters from 2020 are turning against him in 2024 due to his support for the onslaught in Gaza.
After the Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, Israel launched a massive and ruthless military campaign in Gaza that has slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Images and videos circulating on various social media platforms documenting the devastation in Gaza have made many Americans increasingly sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians and against providing future arms to Israel.
In response, Tel Aviv has acquired a program to help manage its online reputation. “Israel has responded to its “clear loss” to Hamas on the digital battlefield by making its first-ever purchase of a technological system capable of conducting mass online influence campaigns, according to numerous sources with knowledge of the matter,” Haaretz reports. “The system can, among other things, automatically create content tailored to specific audiences.”
The outlet reports that Israel acquired multiple programs, including “a system for mapping online audiences; a system capable of automatically creating websites, among other things, as well as content tailored to specific audiences; a system for monitoring social media and messaging platforms, and others.”
Fearing the mass influence system also reflects negatively on the user, Tel Aviv purchased the systems via intermediaries. Israel is looking to reduce anti-semitic, anti-Zionist, graphic, and violent content circulating online. Haaretz reports that the first campaign is underway and “is not in Hebrew and does not focus on the war at all.”
Conflating antisemitic content with posts that are graphic, violent, or anti-Zionist is problematic. Graphic and violent content can include evidence of Israel war crimes committed in Gaza. Removing the posts could lead to the erasure of the only potential for victims to seek justice.
Recently, it appears pro-Israeli censorship has increased on X, formerly known as Twitter. Several accounts that are notorious for highlighting Israeli war crimes in Gaza were suspended for a short time on X. After the issue was brought to the attention of the platform’s owner, Elon Musk, the accounts of journalists Ken Klippensten, Alan MacLeod, and Steven Monacelli, along with others, were reinstated.
A story published by the Israeli outlet Ynet revealed that the Israeli military killed Israeli civilians on October 7 and was given an “unsafe link” warning. Activists and Palestinians have reported having their videos and photos claiming to show Israeli war crimes deleted.


Original source: Omer Benjakob, Haaretz ( a more detailed article )