In response to our recent post, which traced the bulk of the #IranElection twitter spam back to an article in JPost rather than “Iranian Students”, the Jerusalem newspaper has removed the evidence by altering their June 14th article (luckily, we kept the screenshot). JPost has also written a response to our allegations.
We argued that the onslaught of #IranElection tweets may not have been the work of “Iranian students” as claimed but rather a group of people promoting the political interests of the right-wing of Israeli politics with the aim of magnifying the social unrest which followed the Iranian election.
In researching the origin of the thousands of tweets and retweets, we noticed that only a hand full of people were at the core of the #IranElection spam. After preforming a simple google search which sought to find when/where 2 of these people were mentioned together we found a JPost article which became the basis of our assertion.
Only hours after creating their twitter profiles, JPost ran an article which instructed their readers to follow on twitter for up to date coverage of the Iran election. JPost was the first and only major news source that posted the links to these twitter accounts which would later become the source of most of the #IranElection spam.
Here is how the article looked at the time (Click for a better shot):
Click to view image: '1cfaa2c25fe0-jpost.jpg'
And how it looks today: Notice that the 4th paragraph no longer provides the links to the 3 spammers which went on to become the source of much of the tweets.
Click to view image: 'e2555837a67e-jpost2.jpg'
Now, I realize that I’ll be accused of somehow doctoring the first image so I’ve also attached a screenshot of the Google search results (see below) for “StopAhmadi AND IranRiggedElect,” which are two of the three spammers. You can also check the search results for yourself (At this time google is still indexing the old version).
Click to view image: '5a51f520a2c5-google.jpg'
Of course, the editing of their original article begs another important question. WHY?? If my accusations were so ridiculous why would JPost remove the evidence which was at the core of my argument?? This does not help their case.
In response to our article, JPost Managing Editor Shani Rosenfelder writes “Our coverage of events in Iran is guided solely by professional journalistic considerations.”
The newspaper, in an attempt to debunk our allegations, writes:
“The “proof” [of our article] cited was an online entry published on Sunday on the Post’s “The Persian Abyss” blog, in which three very active Iranian Twitterers, whose tweets were widely circulated, were mentioned as part of an online documentation of Iranians’ reaction to the election results on social media outlets.”
At the time of that article, however, those three members had JUST JOINED twitter only hours earlier. Furthermore, JPost changed their original post which cites those “three very active Iranian Twitterers.” They disappeared. They are referring to that portion which they removed.
JPost was nice enough to refrain from personal attacks and even included the disclaimer:
“The writer allows that he does not think that the violence in Iran is a “Jewish conspiracy” because he is “not an anti-semite” and even claims that he is “half-Jewish.” Instead he maintains that “these are the workings of the extreme right-wing of Israeli politics” since “Israel perceives Iran as an enemy, more so than any other nation.”
I do appreciate the decency of the writer and while I find the article to be fair in its tone it neglected to directly answer the lingering questions -
Why did they run a story about 3 people who just joined twitter? “…part of an online documentation of Iranians’ reaction” does not explain why it was newsworthy to promote the profiles of 3 twitter members who just joined the site.
How did they find out about them so fast?
How were they sure that the profiles were authentic? These profiles were only hours old and had no names attached to them. They had no time to verify that these were, indeed, Iranian students.
And the latest:
Why did they remove the evidence if my allegations were so ridiculous?
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