Disinformation comes in all shapes and sizes. And now arrives in tractors too.
We first identified this tweet from an account which has recently been appearing on RT and claims to be a journalist. It had been shared 2,000 times and been liked almost 5000 times.
Using Tineye, the image was identified as having been in use since 2016 when Greek farmers carried out protests.
The fake tweet has been saved to the Wayback Machine here.
We then found another tweet, this time a Swedish nationalist posting along the same lines.
Again, the image dated back several years and related to other, unrelated protests.
The fake tweet was saved to the Wayback Machine here along with another tweet by an “OSINT” outfit who seem to have a serious interest in the Coronavirus when they aren’t tweeting fake pictures of tractors in Greece. (Archive here).
The 350 tweets of the last 24 hours featuring the term “Greek Farmers” were focused on only a select number of hashtags, including #IStandWithGreece, #greeceunderattack, #CivilWar, and #AmericaFirst. These topics are laden with suspicious accounts and disinformation.
Sometimes, to spot fake news, fake journalists, fake intelligence specialists, and other inauthentic behaviour, all you need is a tractor. And, if there is an overlap between coronavirus disinformation and greek border fake news in coming days, there’s no need to look very far for patient zero.