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Fri, Jun 5, 2020

Operation Carthage: How a Tunisian company conducted influence operations in African presidential elections

A Tunisia-based company operated a sophisticated digital campaign involving multiple social media platforms and websites in an attempt to influence the country’s 2019 presidential election, as well as other recent elections in Africa. In an exclusive investigation that began in September 2019, the DFRLab uncovered dozens of online assets with connections to Tunisian digital communications firm UReputation. On June 5, 2020, after conducting its own investigation, Facebook announced it had taken down more than 900 assets affiliated with the UReputation operation, including 182 user accounts, 446 pages, and 96 groups, as well as 209 Instagram accounts. The operation also involved the publication of multiple Francophone websites, some going back more than five years.

In-Depth Research & Reports by Andy Carvin, Luiza Bandeira, Graham Brookie, Iain Robertson, Nika Aleksejeva, Alyssa Kann, Kanishk Karan, Ayushman Kaul, Tessa Knight, Jean le Roux, Roman Osadchik, Esteban Ponce de Leon

Africa Disinformation

Alyssa Kann is a Research Assistant at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) based in Washington, D.C.

Alyssa previously worked in an academic counter-terrorism lab, where she specialized in data and social network analysis. While earning her BA, she wrote an honors thesis analyzing memes that targeted American presidential candidates. When she isn’t envisioning civic-minded social networks, she enjoys writing, hiking, and surfing.