Israeli disinformation campaign targeted Nigerian election

Israeli disinformation campaign targeted Nigerian election
FILE - This July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook said Thursday, May 16, 2019, that it has banned Archimedes, an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries, and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — A U.S. think tank that analyzes misinformation online has found that an Israel-based influence campaign busted by Facebook had stumped for the winning candidate in the February 2019 Nigerian presidential elections.

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab report Friday foregrounds posts from accounts tied to the Tel Aviv-based political consulting company Archimedes, which appeared to smear Atiku Abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari’s main opponent and former vice president of Nigeria.

One page pumped out a stream of content praising and boosting Buhari. Another purported to support Abubakar, only to target his supporters with anti-Abubakar posts later.

Facebook banned Archimedes from the platform Thursday for its “coordinated and deceptive behavior” and removed dozens of accounts primarily aimed at disrupting elections in African countries.