A new report has warned that Iran is ‘peddling disinformation’ via social media in an attempt to destabilise the UK by influencing the Scottish election in favour of pro-independence parties.
Reported by The Times, cyber specialists working on behalf of the Iranian regime are targeting Scottish voters by posing as pro-independence users on Twitter and Facebook.
The study by the Henry Jackson Society think tank reported that fake accounts encourage real users to share content and material of a pro-independence nature in the form of memes, graphics and cartoons with their friends and contact on the sites.
Fake websites have also been set up, designed to influence the campaign by tricking internet users as part of a wider disinformation campaign from Iran.
The society has said that the Iranian regime’s efforts are similar to that of Russia – designed to instil chaos, uncertainty and division to weaken their adversaries.
The report said that the increasing presence of Iranian disinformation was an attempt by the regime to “attack the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom”.
It concluded: “Iran has shown itself to be a country which engages in Russian-style disinformation campaigns, repeatedly establishing fake websites and internet accounts in an effort to disrupt the political systems of liberal democracies.
“Judged within this context, Iran is almost certainly looking to disrupt our current elections, most likely those under way for the Scottish assembly.”