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Meet ‘New Elites’ Who Control Twitter’s Israel-Hamas News

The ‘new elites’ of X: Identifying the most influential accounts engaged in Hamas/Israel discourse. Oct 20, 2023 RAPID RESEARCH REPORT University of Washington Center for an Informed Public: “Since the first news of the attack on Israel by Hamas, we have seen anecdotal reports from users of X (formerly Twitter) that the platform has become less useful for surfacing verified news and more generally disorienting. Through a novel data collection process we identify highly influential accounts in the Hamas/Israel discourse on X that comprise the most dominant English-language news sources on Twitter for the event. In this Center for an Informed Public rapid research report, we compare these accounts to traditional news sources and find on average they have far fewer subscribers while achieving far greater views, are of more recent popularity, and show a greater posting frequency. Most of the accounts also use video and images frequently, framed in emotional ways. Strikingly, many of these accounts have received prior promotion from X owner Elon Musk, either through direct recommendation or through Musk’s account replying to their content, which may explain some of their dominance of “news twitter.”

  • With seven accounts racking up a cumulative 1.6 billion tweet views over three days of posts, our analysis points to a new crisis twitter that is faster, more disorienting, and potentially more shaped by Musk himself…”

See also 404 Media‘Verified’ OSINT Accounts Are Destroying the Israel-Palestine Information Ecosystem. The problem with profit and engagement driven misinformation from pseudo-OSINT accounts during the Israel-Palestine conflict is “unprecedented.” One expert said after Musk’s recent changes “all hell broke loose.”

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