Arab communication platforms are witnessing campaigns in support of the Palestinian cause, and they usually top the lists of interaction, in conjunction with the escalation of events in the occupied territories. These campaigns range from humanitarian initiatives, international boycotts, and electronic petitions, as well as calls to vote on referendums that are often attributed to major international institutions.
The Al-Jazeera News Monitoring and Verification Agency, Sanad, monitored two campaigns among those campaigns, which were popular on the Facebook and Twitter platforms, in addition to the WhatsApp application; The first is a call to vote for Palestine in a referendum gathered by Israel, allegedly affiliated with Google. The second is attributed to the United Nations’ UNESCO, and the vote calls for denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and considering it an occupied city. Read also Finally.. Facebook is moving and appointing a team of observers to resolve the dispute over Palestinian content The first adopters.. The Palestinian resistance gives lessons to entrepreneurs After the message of the Jews of Google .. Apple employees demand the company to support the Palestinians Two technical experts analyze the limitations of social platforms for content in solidarity with Palestine
Sanad tried to track the two links by analyzing their data, and communicating with the relevant institutions, to find out the truth about these false campaigns, and how to take advantage of the Arab momentum around them, to serve other purposes far from supporting the cause.
Searches on the Facebook and Twitter platforms showed an Arab response to these calls, as users were keen to share the link to the referendum allegedly linked to Google, and invited their friends and followers to enter the link, claiming to support the cause of the Palestinian people.
The content of the tweets and publications did not differ much, as most of them focused on voting to put the name of Palestine on the map, which some considered an important victory if it was actually achieved.
And according to what the voting interface shows, more than two million votes participated in it, Palestine got nearly one million and 700 thousand votes, while the rest of the votes went in favor of Israel, and the number of votes does not reflect the actual number of participating users, as the site provides a paid service for buying votes. And vote more than once.
As for the second link, its circulation was less visible on the Facebook and Twitter platforms, compared to its first counterpart, as its spread was concentrated through the famous messaging application WhatsApp, as the text of the circulated message came, “Quickly support Palestine and Jerusalem from this vote to deny Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. I voted, for Palestine.” It is very important that you participate in the vote.
The voting interface did not show any numbers indicating the number of participants since its inception until now; But he contented himself with showing a message after answering questions about Jerusalem and recognizing Palestine, and then asking the visitor to confirm the vote by sharing the link to 10 people or 5 groups via WhatsApp, adding the phone number.
Sanad revealed, using “Trends” tools on the communication sites, the volume of interaction caused by these surveys across the platforms, as the first survey link was used in more than 5,000 posts on Facebook, and more than 10,000 tweets on Twitter. In addition to only 11 posts on Instagram.
The number of combined interactions (like, comment, share) on Facebook reached nearly 300,000 interactions, including 27,000 comments, and more than 200,000 individual link posts from users.
The second link, which is the latest compared to its first counterpart, appeared in more than 160 posts on Facebook, and only 38 tweets on Twitter, while it was not detected in user posts on the Instagram platform.
An analysis of the data conducted by Sanad Agency, for the first voting link (https://israel-vs-palestine.com/), indicated that it is part of an old project, which began in 2008, called “Free-opinion”. It is a social platform for creating opinion polls, as it gives the right to site visitors to register their own account, and create a poll on any issue that interests them.
There are many opinion polls on the site, which were created by its pioneers according to various different topics; Like the referendums between America and Israel, Britain, and Iran, which the following picture shows.
The site’s registration data indicates that it was registered for the first time in December 2008, and depends on making its profits on financial support from visitors by donating through the PayPal account or through the newly deployed digital currencies.
The data indicated that the site owner intentionally entered false data; Such as the phone number, e-mail, and the country of origin, while the “domain” data revealed that the “geographical identification address” (IP) is in the state of New Jersey, in the United States of America.
Sanad’s analysis showed that the second voting link (https://www.xn--mgbqm2dj.live/) falls under “phishing websites”, which aim to steal user data, or download malicious software on his device. .
When you open the site’s interface, a message appears under a picture of Al-Aqsa Mosque saying, “This vote by UNESCO by a majority in favor of denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, and considering it an (occupied city), if you want to, continue,” without referring to any other details or the presence of the site’s or organization’s logo. Attributed to her vote.
By examining the SSL certificate of the site, we find that it was newly established on May 17, coinciding with the events of the war on Gaza; Which means that the site aims to exploit the events, to bring more interaction on it, and the largest number of visitors.
By checking the Google Ads data associated with the site, it was found that his PUB ID is present on several other sites that do the same process, such as (chat-whatsapp.co), which is also a phishing site with malicious software. Its writing format is similar to the original WhatsApp website (chat.whatsapp.com).
The “PUB” is a special identifier for Google accounts that is created to follow up the income of advertisements coming to the site, and the team supervising the site depends on following up on the results of visits, the number of views and profits that are achieved through it, and repeating it in this way means that the team responsible for the voting site, On a number of other sites that do the same way in spreading malware.
In an email to Sanad, Google denied its relationship with the link that was allegedly affiliated with it, and that it was linked to search engine ads, saying, “For information only, this is not an advertisement for Google. This site does not generate income through the company, and is not affiliated with it.” Also”.
Sanad contacted Hala Tannous, the Communications Officer at the UNESCO Ramallah office, in order to clarify the validity of the information about the relationship of the second voting link with the organization, who in turn denied any connection to this misleading referendum.
Tannous said in an email, “Thank you for your correspondence, which we would like to confirm by responding to, and on behalf of the Director of the UNESCO National Office in Palestine, and the UNESCO Representative in Palestine, Mrs. Noha Bawazir, that this news is misleading information and has no validity. UNESCO has not published or Circulate this link.