Beijing AI influence campaign weaponises Gaza conflict

Occurred: December 2023

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The Chinese government was running an AI-fueled campaign that capitalised on President Biden's support of Israel's war against Hamas in order to damage the reputation of the US.

Non-profit the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) reported that the so-called 'Spamouflage' group, which was linked to China's ruling Communist Party, had created what appeared to be AI-generated graphics and web memes portraying Biden as a gun-toting warmonger. The images were then spread using apparently repurposed commercial bot accounts on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Twitter.

According to the ISD, Spamouflage was in the process of rebuilding its presence and activities on western social media platforms after Meta had closed over 7,000 accounts it said were linked to disinformation campaigns operating against the US in August 2023.

Other AI-powered Spamouflage campaigns purportedly targeted Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, used deepfake TV anchors to sow disquiet in the US, UK, Taiwan, the Australia, Japan, and other countries, and accused the US military of starting wildfires in Maui.


Operator: Government of China
Developer: Government of China
Country: Israel; Palestine; USA  
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Damage reputation
Technology: Text-to-image; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance; Marketing