Visegrád 24: The Polish Government-Funded Fake News Factory Driving The Online Israel-Palestine News Cycle
Named by Gizmodo as the most influential source of news on Israel/Palestine on Twitter/X, Visegrád 24 has shot to prominence, amassing more than one million followers across social media platforms. Yet it has consistently shared blatantly false information in an attempt to ramp up support for the state of Israel’s crimes in Gaza. Worse still, the semi-anonymous account pushing a far-right agenda worldwide is known to be funded by the deeply conservative Polish government.
by Alan Macleod
Part 1 - A Viral Sensation
If you have spent any amount of time on social media following the Israeli attack on Gaza, you are sure to have come across Visegrád 24 and its ultra-viral content. The Polish news aggregator is perhaps an unlikely candidate to become a key player in the information war. But in just a few short weeks, it has gained hundreds of thousands of followers across its platforms, especially Twitter/ and TikTok (currently at 843,000 and 183,000 followers, respectively).
A study published by the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington, titled “The New Elites of X,” identified Visegrád 24 as the most influential account engaged in Israel/Palestine discourse. One measure of its reach is that, in the first three days following Hamas’ surprise attack, the six traditional media outlets with the most followers on Twitter/X (CNN Breaking News, CNN, the New York Times, BBC Breaking News, BBC World News and Reuters) who collectively have nearly 300 million followers, received 112 million views on Israel/Palestine related content. Visegrád 24, by comparison, received 370 million views over the same period. Since then, its influence has only grown.
Its massive reach has led many to equate it with reliability, and the account is regularly cited in establishment media such as Newsweek or Fox News. But this is far from the case. Indeed, its accounts appear to exist to lionize Israel and its supporters, demonize Palestine and its supporters, fearmonger about refugees, and promote ultra-conservative politics in general.
Source, links, further info: