Facebook has closed a number of “inauthentic” pages linked to Iran which attacked Brexit and Israel while supporting Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish separatism — but the political establishment and broadcast media have remained remarkably quiet.
Facebook shut down 652 pages, groups, and accounts, including ‘The British Left’ and ‘Free Scotland 2014’ — one of the largest pro-separatist pages on social media — which were found to be engaged in “co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour”.
The social media giant acted after a tip-off from the FireEye cybersecurity firm, The Telegraph reports.
The “inauthentic” pages were linked to the Islamist regime in Iran via Iranian state media and its ‘Liberty Front Press’ front group, with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg confirming the network of accounts were shut down for “misleading people about who they were and what they were doing”.
Pro-EU posts shared by Iranians — who posed as local independent media and grassroots activists –depicted an English longbowman preparing to shoot an arrow into his own body and a man firing a pistol at his own foot as a euphemism for Brexit.
Other posts showed Queen Elizabeth II bragging to her consort Prince Philip about a “pay rise” paid for by “the poor, the sick and the disabled”, and praised Labour’s anti-Israel leader Jeremy Corbyn — who has taken money from Iranian state media himself.
Today I called on the government to confirm the National Crime Agency is investigating Russian links to https://t.co/B6veD65mWb. If not, we need a public inquiry. It is time the British people were told whether the EU referendum result was stolen by the Russian state. #BylineFest pic.twitter.com/WkhhQygmOQ
— Tom Watson (@tom_watson) August 25, 2018
Curiously, establishment Remainers who have left no stone unturned in a fruitless search for Russian ‘interference’ in the EU referendum and ‘collusion’ between Moscow and the Leave campaigns — such as Damian Collins, the Tory chairman of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport parliamentary select committee, and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson — have had nothing to say on the subject of Iran’s anti-Brexit activities.
Mainstream media has been similarly quiescent, despite having covered Russia conspiracies prominently — with neither the publicly-funded BBC, publicly-owned Channe 4, or Sky News appearing to mention the Iranian revelations in their broadcast news bulletins.
BBC News did provide a brief report on Facebook shutting down a number of pages linked to Iran and Russia and how they were traced, buried on the Tech section of its website, but — incredibly — managed to do so without making any mention of the fact that they were pushing narratives critical of Brexit.