Billie Eilish was targeted by armies of anti-Semitic bots and trolls online after promoting her new album on MTV Israel, a new social media analysis found.
The 19-year-old pop singer made a series of promotional videos for her second studio album, Happier Than Ever, each tailored to a different country, following its July 30 release.
She shared a clip on July 31 aimed at her Israeli audience, saying ‘Hi Israel, I’m so excited that my new album, ‘Happier Than Ever,’ is out now.’
Her Instagram account was then ‘flooded with thousands of bot-driven comments consisting of Palestinian flags and other Palestine solidarity-themed comments’, according to a report – titled ‘Manufactured Outrage’ – by pro-Israel organization Creative Community for Peace (CCFP).
The CCFP study obtained by DailyMail.com analyzed six of Eilish’s posts after she put out her ‘Hi Israel’ video.
A new social media analysis shows Billie Eilish’s Instagram account was targeted by anti-Semitic bots and trolls after she promoted her new album on MTV Israel
The 19-year-old pop singer appeared in a July 31 video (pictured) aimed at her Israeli audience, saying ‘Hi Israel, I’m so excited that my new album, ‘Happier Than Ever,’ is out now’
Among the top comments, 30 per cent were anti-Israel and posted by users with no posts on their personal profile (a strong indicator of bot activity). Those comments received 235,995 likes.
Another 12 per cent were posted by users with only one or two posts on their profiles.
The report describes the onslaught of anti-Israel and pro-Palestine comments as a ‘coordinated attack on Billie Eilish’ and a ‘specific effort by anti-Israel activists, who use social media to distort and influence public opinion against Israel via inauthentic means.’
Billie’s second studio album Happier Than Ever was released on July 30
‘Bot armies attacked Billie Eilish’s Instagram account with waves of sock-puppet and fake account posts. This was done in an effort to overtake her influential social media page and to use it as their own bully pulpit,’ the report said.
‘The frequency and volume of the comments creates a false impression. The overwhelming presence of the comments on the videos intended to silence her from ever mentioning Israel again and to give a false impression to her fans that thousands of real people are posting comments on her posts.’
The study also highlighted reports of ‘Iranian troll farms run by the Iranian government’ which ‘amplified anti-Israel and anti-Semitic messages during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict in May, including the phrases ‘Hitler was right’ and ‘kill all Jews’ at a rate of 175 times per minute.’
CCFP director Ari Ingel told DailyMail.com that although it is ‘difficult to say for certain’ who is behind the reported social media attacks, they suspect ‘state actors’ including Iran.
A report obtained by DailyMail.com analyzed the star’s Instagram comments after the release of the video and showed her account was flooded with anti-Israel and pro-Palestine comments
Pro-Israel organization Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) found 30 per cent of her top comments across six posts had anti-Israel sentiments and were posted by users with no posts on their personal profile (a strong indicator of bot activity)
Eilish posted a photo of herself with friends on the same day her video was released, attracting an onslaught of pro-Palestine comments
Pictured above are the comments left by Palestinian bots on the July 31 post and the number of likes they received
CCFP analyzed 468 comments and the profiles that made them, noting the number of likes and replies on each, and the number of posts and followers the accounts had. The majority of accounts did not have any posts on their profile
‘One thing is clear, it’s not fans of Billie Eilish, or fans of music in general,’ he said.
‘These are fraudulent accounts, carrying out coordinated Anti-Israel campaigns by actors who have one goal, and that’s to demonize and delegitimize Israel.
‘What’s striking is the sheer volume, frequency, and level of coordination we’re seeing. The people and state actors behind these campaigns understand how social media algorithms work,’ he added.
‘These attacks are very calculated as thousands of fraudulent comments flood profiles with negative comments, and then bots give these comments thousands of ‘likes’ to get them into the top slots of a post.
‘In terms of volume, 48 per cent of the ‘top comments’ of the posts we examined that were distinctly anti-Israel, shockingly garnered almost 300,000 likes.
‘That demonstrates an incredibly high-level of coordination and operational capacity. It’s disturbing that social media outlets are not doing more to crackdown on this behavior and disinformation.
‘We have seen a rise in coordinated, strategic social media campaigns to defame Israel and to bully public figures that simply mention Israel in any sort of positive light.’
The report found 48 per cent of the ‘top comments’ of the posts examined were distinctly anti-Israel and garnered almost 300,000 likes
The study, titled, ‘Manufactured Outrage’ listed a number of ‘bot’ accounts that attacked the singer’s Instagram ‘with waves of sock-puppet and fake account posts’
Billie Eilish at the 2021 Met Gala celebrating ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ on September 13 in NYC
The report covered six Instagram posts Eilish made between July 31 and August 5, following the release of her ‘Hi Israel’ video.
CCFP analyzed 468 comments and the profiles that made them, noting the number of likes and replies on each, and the number of posts and followers the accounts had.
Of the 468 top comments, 123 or 26 per cent were deemed anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian by CCFP’s study and were made by accounts with no posts on their profiles.
The comments received a total 217,269 likes. The top ‘bot’ comment received 13,317 likes.
A further 47 comments were made by accounts that only had one or two posts on their personal profiles and were labelled ‘suspected bots’ by CCFP.
CCFP is a Pro-Israel group backed by celebrities including Michael Bublé, Sherry Lansing, Gene Simmons, Meghan McCain and Selma Blair.
The organization is opposed to the ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ movement that targets Israel, and was founded with the purpose of helping artists and performers with navigating appearances in Israel.