Almaty. September 3. Information Center - The
online debate over mask policies in Texas has reportedly
been bombarded with comments from overseas users in what could be a foreign
influence operation, Daily Dot reports.
Independent School District, as reported by Spectrum 1 News, says it noticed a surge in remarks
from accounts in Kazakhstan while conducting a monthly analysis of its social
district has been at the center of widespread debate after it decided to mandate masks as the Delta variant of
COVID-19 spreads across Texas.
analysis, which focused in on the district’s social media profiles from July 20
to Aug. 18, found that users from Kazakhstan were the most engaged only behind
users from the U.S.
further analysis is needed, experts such as disinformation researcher Nina
Jankowicz say it is not uncommon for foreign adversaries such as China or
Russia to hire operatives in other countries to pose as Americans and sow
“I can tell
you generally that foreign disinformation actors use preexisting fissures
within societies in order to drive more discontent, more discord, and distrust
in the system,” Jankowicz told Spectrum 1 News.
Stanford, the chief of communications and community engagement for the
district, argued that the findings showed how such debates can be used to
thing is a good reminder of how easily divided we’ve become,” Stanford told the
news outlet. “A lot of time the local issues that can consume us also give
others a chance to mess with us.”
true, the incident wouldn’t be the first time that foreign adversaries have
used the pandemic to create division.
month shut down more than 300 accounts tied to
a Russian advertising agency that had attempted to pay influencers to share anti-vaccine content.