Disinformation, misinformation, or the spread of false information by any other moniker is not a new phenomenon. However, asymmetric exploitation within the information environment—by nation-state and non-state actors—are increasingly diffuse and effective. As the information environment continues to expand and transform at an ever-accelerating rate, monitoring the digital engagement space with an approach that actively informs this environment, as opposed to responding to it, is increasingly necessary. #AlertaVenezuela is paving the way for a deeper understanding of the complexities of the information environment in and around Venezuela. By exposing and explaining disinformation in this context, the Atlantic Council will shed light on the path ahead for combatting disinformation and foreign interference around one of the hemisphere’s largest economic, political and humanitarian crises.

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Tue, Sep 15, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: September 15, 2020

Accounts aligned with the Maduro regime pushed #MasCaprilesMenosGuaido (More Capriles, less Guaidó) to trend as a means of influencing the Twitter conversation after Henrique Capriles and Juan Guaidó traded accusations around the upcoming parliamentary elections. #MasCaprilesMenosGuaido trended on September 3 and September 4, however, most of the mentions (tweets, retweets, and replies) have seemingly since been deleted or removed.

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Tue, Sep 8, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: September 08, 2020

Accounts aligned with the Maduro regime pushed #MasCaprilesMenosGuaido (More Capriles, less Guaidó) to trend as a means of influencing the Twitter conversation after Henrique Capriles and Juan Guaidó traded accusations around the upcoming parliamentary elections. #MasCaprilesMenosGuaido trended on September 3 and September 4, however, most of the mentions (tweets, retweets, and replies) have seemingly since been deleted or removed.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

Disinformation Venezuela
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Wed, Sep 2, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: September 01, 2020

Twitter users greeted an announcement of a pardon for the Maduro regime’s political opponents with skepticism on August 31, 2020. An analysis of over 60,000 posts made up to 7:30 p.m. (Caracas time) on August 31 showed that the most retweeted posts were critical of the move, which was regarded as illegitimate and insufficient.

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Wed, Aug 26, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: August 25, 2020

On August 20, 2020, Google suspended three YouTube channels belonging to Maduro regime-funded media outlet VTV and the Gmail account associated with them. The three channels had amassed over 408,100 subscribers and posted almost 69,000 videos by the time they were suspended. The same day, Google also suspended two YouTube channels for Cuban TV programs, but they were available again by August 21.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Wed, Aug 19, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: August 19, 2020

After the detention of former Colombian President and current Senator Álvaro Uribe on August 4, 2020, political leaders in the region such as Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado warned that Colombia would become a regime like Venezuela and targeted Nicolás Maduro as responsible for the arrest as well. Machado’s claim was amplified by Colombian congresspeople supporting Uribe and appeared among the most watched videos on Facebook.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Tue, Aug 11, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: August 12, 2020

After the detention of former Colombian President and current Senator Álvaro Uribe on August 4, 2020, political leaders in the region such as Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado warned that Colombia would become a regime like Venezuela and targeted Nicolás Maduro as responsible for the arrest as well. Machado’s claim was amplified by Colombian congresspeople supporting Uribe and appeared among the most watched videos on Facebook.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

Disinformation Venezuela
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Tue, Aug 4, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: August 04, 2020

Following his arrest, two accounts supporting Colombian businessman Alex Saab attacked Colombian and Venezuelan journalists using violent language and threats on Twitter, which is prohibited by Twitter’s policy on safety. One of the accounts – @DenunciaJulio – also showed possible links to Colombian law firm De La Espriella, which represented Saab until July 2019.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Tue, Jul 28, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 28, 2020

On July 21-23, 2020, Twitter accounts petitioning U.S. President Donald Trump for a military intervention in Venezeula also pushed four hashtags to trend that promoted anti-socialist messaging against Juan Guaidó and Nicolás Maduro. The accounts, all of which had set their locations to Venezuela, showed signs of inauthenticity and platform manipulation, such as posting duplicative content and creating fake engagement.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Wed, Jul 22, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 22, 2020

Representatives aligned with Luis Parra, Maduro’s illegitimately installed National Assembly president, announcing on July 19 that he had been hospitalized after “apparent pneumonia.” Pro-Maduro accounts used Parra’s name to convey news about his condition and to promote Maduro regime’s hashtags on Twitter. “Luis Parra” trended as a keyword on Venezuela between July 19-21, 2020.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Tue, Jul 14, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 14, 2020

Brazilian assets removed by Facebook for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” used the economic and health crisis in Venezuela, which has been exacerbated by the Maduro regime, to promote anti-socialist sentiment in Brazil. The DFRLab also found some of the assets shared memes supporting a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela. The same message had been shared before by Rumbo Libertad, a Venezuelan far right and libertarian movement whose members have appeared in pictures with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his sons in the past.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

Disinformation Venezuela