Report: Israel runs AI-powered covert US political influence campaign

Occurred: October 2023-

The Israeli government allegedly orchestrated a covert influence campaign targeting US lawmakers and the public to garner support for Israel's military actions in Gaza.  

Israel's Ministry of Diaspora Affairs reportedly allocated around USD 2 million for a campaign to disseminate pro-Israel messages and urge US Congress members, particularly prominent Black Democrats, to finance Israeli military initiatives, and hired Israeli marketing firm Stoic to run it.

Hundreds of fake social media accounts impersonating Americans were created and populated shortly after Hamas' attack on Israel on Otober 7, 2023, using content generated by OpenAI's ChatGPT

Meta identified and removed over 500 fraudulent Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to the campaign, many of which impersonated real individuals like Jewish students, African Americans, and concerned citizens in order to appear authentic. 

OpenAI also reported disrupting an Israeli operation codenamed "Zero Zeno" that misused its AI tools for generating articles and comments across platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Israeli government denied any involvement in the campaign. However, Investigative and media reports cited internal documents and government sources as evidence of Israel's role.

The finding underscored concerns about Israel's use of AI for political and military purposes in its ongoing battles with Hamas and other organisations.

Operator: Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs; Stoic
Developer: OpenAI
Country: Israel; USA
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Manipulate public opinion
Technology: Chatbot
Issue: Mis/disinformation

Investigations, assessments, audits 🧐