Facebook has removed three fake accounts that were pretending to be anti-government protest activists and uploaded content inciting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The accounts were taken down after an investigation by a team of volunteers, including Yossi Dorfman, a strategic consultant and expert in the digital field, who exposed the findings on Twitter.
Maayan Sarig, Facebook’s communications manager in Israel, confirmed that the company had found the accounts to be fake and had removed them.
“Posts of incitement against Netanyahu are flooding the internet, seemingly in the name of the protest,” wrote Dorfman. He described how his “professional team of volunteers” identified the account of Nehorai Yosef, which posted a picture comparing Netanyahu to Hitler and the situation in Israel today to the time of the Holocaust.
This fake profile tagged a number of other accounts, most of which were authentic protest activists – who did not know the owner of the fake account. Dorfman said they warned some of the activists, while others identified the fake profiles themselves. Dorfman said they found a picture linked to Nehorai’s profile of someone who looked much older than his supposed age – and the email address linked to it was from the “lv” domain for Latvia. The account had also been created recently, as were the other two fake profiles.
In May, Netanyahu filed a report against a Facebook profile by the name of Dana Ron after one of its posts, uploaded said "We need to remove Bibi by force alone…Dictators move only from a bullet in the head!" Later the police found that the fake account was operated by an Israeli woman who has been living abroad for years, and it was removed by Facebook.
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In recent months, Netanyahu has filed numerous complaints with the police over threats and incitement to violence against him and his family on social media.