Big Money Spent on Anti-Ulez Campaign, Unknown Sources

Big Money Spent on Anti-Ulez Campaign, Unknown Sources

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The Guardian has revealed that an enormous amount of money, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, was spent on an anti-ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) campaign on Twitter. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is expected to address this issue at a conference in New York and call on social media companies to take responsibility and combat attempts to distort the truth.

Khan claims that the anti-Ulez campaign on Twitter alone received significant funding without any knowledge of who was behind it. Research conducted social media analysts, Valent, highlighted evidence of an extensive online campaign aimed at undermining support for the Ulez before the Uxbridgeelection. Their study found that almost 50% of the Twitter accounts mentioning Ulez were created after November 2022, and around 90% of these accounts displayed signs of inauthenticity, with generic names and a high number of fake followers.

The investigation conducted Valent suggests that the effort to undermine Ulez is just the tip of the iceberg, as they focused solely on Twitter and believe there might be larger manipulative activities happening on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, and TikTok. Their research on Ulez was part of a Labour party investigation into their loss in the Uxbridge-election, which was expected to be a victory for them.

Mayor Khan acknowledges that there are valid concerns about the expansion of Ulez, but he is disturbed the deliberate manipulation of public opinion that is funded unidentified sources. He believes that this misinformation campaign is just the beginning, serving as a precursor to larger attacks on future climate and environmental policies.

The Guardian’s report sheds light on the extensive and sophisticated nature of online manipulation surrounding political issues. It highlights the need for social media platforms to increase their efforts in identifying and combatting such manipulation.

Sources: The Guardian