Iraq Disinformation Profile

From ADTAC Disinformation Inventory

Iraq Domestic Disinformation

Iraq Media Environment

Iraq is rated 162 out of 180 on the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.[1] Many media outlets have express political or religious links and private media is rarely able to generate enough income to stay operable.[2][3] Iraq has a 36% internet penetration rate.[4]

2019 Protest disinformation

Iraq's General Abdul Kareem Khalaf spread a number of falsehoods about the protests including that they were making improvised bombs, that the protestors wanted to storm the national bank and he denied that the security forces were using live rounds and tear gas against the protestors.[5]

In 2019 an influence campaign online called for a revolution in Iraq, investigators found that it originated in the Gulf from people using fake accounts.[6]

Covid-19 Conspiracies in Iraq

A series of Facebook polls carried out by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting found that 38% of 42,000 respondents believed that the corona virus was fabricated for political purposes. The majority of respondents agreed that there had been a spike in "fake news" since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.[7] There is a common belief that the official Iraqi government data on the number of COVID-19 cases is underreported.[8]

2020 Iraqi Kurdistan Takedown

Facebook took down over 400 assets belonging to a group in Iraqi Kurdistan for coordinated inauthentic behavior including using fake accounts to impersonate local politicians and political parties. This was linked to the intelligence services of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraqi Kurdistan who supported the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan political party and criticized the Kurdistan Democratic Party.[9]