TAG cybersecurity experts: The breadth of targets in those campaigns stands in contrast to many government-backed operations.
The pro-Turkey propaganda in Syria is spreading on social media with the female botnets
Female botnets are fashionable in Syria. Above all to spread propaganda for Turkey after the recent operation Olive Branch in Afrin. This phenomenon is confirmed by the hundreds of comments and posts received on social media, especially Twitter, by the most active figures who report crimes and abuse of the Damascus soldiers and their allies in the neighboring country. Among these, the journalist Afarin Mamosta explained that she was victim of the pro-Ankara bots and attached the “strange” comments to a content that supported this thesis. What is evident, by looking at these and others on different accounts, is that a psychological operation is in progress to change the perception of the events. Turning Turkey from an enemy to a savior.
The fake girls profiles on social media aim at a target audience of young and middle-aged men, using the beauty card
The use of female images for botnets in Syria has a very specific purpose. Attract users’ attention. The photos of the profiles that spread propaganda, indeed, portray for the majority of cases young and attractive girls, in more or less flirty poses. These, moreover, are rigged, dressed and in perfect pose according to what are the canons of traditional beauty in the Middle East. The false women on Twitter, although formally are interested in something else as shown by the contents in their social profiles, do not miss an opportunity to comment – even with multimedia – events, situations or statements of war and politics. Leveraging on the fact that the audience on these issues is mainly male and young or middle aged. The “elders” are usually traditionalists and use little or nothing internet and social media. Often disapprove them, as they “corrupt” the soul and faith.
Why pro-Ankara propaganda on social media in Syria aims to influence young males above all
The purpose of pro-Ankara propaganda is to influence the perception of boys and men in Syria and neighboring countries. Showing them that Turkey is not “bad” as it is painted. Rather. The bad guys are others. Instead, Erdogan’s soldiers help the people and protect the, from internal and external threats. The target audiences are young males for a variety of reasons. Apart from that they are the most experienced and curious Internet users, then those more permeable to the messages launched on the net (also confirmed by Daesh recruitments). Moreover, they are those in the population who have greater freedom of movement and speak with their peers or friends. Therefore they can become an unwitting propaganda vehicle, helping its spread. Whether in the family or society. Finally, it should not be forgotten that the young male are the most “angry”. Those one ready to take up weapons to protect the country. Ergo, they have to be distracted.