ISFED: Anti-Western Facebook operation underway in Georgia
The NGO International Society for Fair Elections And Democracy (ISFED) has identified 34 Facebook pages with connections to the radical organization “Alt-Info”.
Alt-info employees try to present their organization as an unbiased, mainstream news agency, but in reality, they often publish misinformation, spread pro-Russian messages and undermine the authority of Western institutions.
The Alt-info Facebook page was created in June 2019. Their previous page, along with other radical and ultra-nationalist ones, was deleted by the Facebook administration during the “spring cleaning” in May 2019.
The new Alt-Info page presents the US and EU countries as unstable, thus trying to influence the Georgian public’s opinion about the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
In most cases, Alt-Info’s propaganda is based on manipulating the facts. The organization uses 34 other Facebook pages in order to do so – 12 openly and 22 indirectly, as well as 25 other group, 7 of which work for Alt-Info “in disguise”. In total, Alt-info has 365,549 subscribers, and the other 12 official pages have 157,640.
The ISFED study says that since there are 22 pages simultaneously distributing video and informational materials from the main Alt-Info page, this suggests a well-coordinated operation.
•Spring cleaning – Facebook deletes hundreds of ‘inauthentic’ political pages, accounts in Georgia
Alt-info Ltd was established on January 28, 2019. The public registry shows that it is headed by Shota Martynenko. Another organization associated with Alt-info, Alternative for Georgia, was registered on January 30, 2019.
The public registry also shows that the board members of this organization are Konstantin Morgoshia, Zurab Makharadze, Shota Martynenko, Irakli Kizilashvili, as well as Giorgi Kardava, who holds a dual Russian and Georgian citizenship
Head of Alt-Info and Alternatives for Georgia, Konstantin Morgoshia commented on the ISFED report.
“There is a large degree of probability that we will once again be removed from Facebook…They have the opportunity and finances to be able to do this. But it’s okay, we will continue to work and gain an audience of millions again,” Morgoshia wrote on his Facebook page.