Iran's IUVM Turns to Coronavirus: Long-Running Iranian Influence Operation Returns to Social Media with Anti-US and Pro-China Messaging [open pdf - 0B]
From the Executive Summary: "An Iranian influence actor that is known for its persistence has responded to the coronavirus pandemic by shifting its messaging to blame the United States and praise the role of China. This actor, often referred to by the name of one of its best-known personas as 'IUVM' - short for the 'International Union of Virtual Media' - is a prolific operator that is centered on websites rather than social media. Its long-running practice has been to create or copy web-based content that amplifies Iranian government narratives, then post it to social media accounts that pose as independent news outlets or journalists. [...] IUVM is a persistent actor. It spans a number of websites, and these can be expected to continue producing content. However, its amplification network has been significantly disrupted by a series of takedowns over the years. Facebook and Twitter have both repeatedly taken down substantial numbers of accounts run by the operation, and open-source researchers have studied its behavior closely. This has made its social media operations vulnerable to early detection, as the current report highlights."