Reuters announced Friday that its blogging platform was hacked and at least two pro-Assad regime stories were posted. Overnight that same day, the hackers got their hands on @ReutersTech, and tweeted propagandist tweets in favor of Assad.
Meanwhile, Assad dismissed his Prime Minister Riyad Farid Hijab on Monday, and Hijab and other government ministers and army officials have reportedly fled to the bordering Kingdom of Jordan. As Assad’s government and military officials flee the country, social media propaganda seems to be loyalists’ final method of swaying the ongoing civil war in their favor.
The account was briefly renamed @ReutersME, though it has since been restored and the hackers’ tweets have been removed. According to The Christian Science Monitor, some of the since deleted tweets read, “Friends all along: Obama signs executive order to release classified info that US never stopped funding Al Qaeda since ’80s” and “FSA source confirms heavy losses within their ranks due to the superiority & sheer force of the Syrian army.”
FSA stands for Free Syria Army, the forces fighting Assad’s loyalists.
Is social media propaganda the next frontier of the ongoing fighting in Syria? Let us know if you think this form of sabotage will become a trend.
Image courtesy of Flickr, FreedomHouse