Analyzing all the “top comments” on the six posts, the task force found that 30 percent were anti-Israel and posted by users who have zero posts on their personal profiles but hundreds and often thousands of followers, which is a strong indication of bot activity. These “top comments” garnered a total of 235,995 likes. Also among the “top comments,” 48 percent were anti-Israel and uploaded by users with zero to two posts on their private profiles, which again suggests bot activity. Those comments garnered a total of 291,995 likes.
The 174 “top comments” on Eilish’s three posts published on July 29-30, before the release of the “Hi Israel” video, did not include any anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian messages. The task force’s 16-page report includes screenshots of the suspected bot activity and information about the fake accounts.
“There is a systematic and coordinated campaign targeting celebrities and influencers who associate with, or even mention, Israel in any positive way,” the task force said. “To deceptively shape and manipulate public opinion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, bot armies routinely deploy thousands of fraudulent comments to try and overrun celebrities’ social media posts with their nefarious messaging.
“This coordinated attack on Billie Eilish is another example of how social media can be used to manipulate public opinion. And of a specific effort by anti-Israel activists, who use social media to distort and influence public opinion against Israel via unauthentic means.”