— Published 14 November 2023

A disinformation campaign linked to Azerbaijan

The information is reported by AFP: an information manipulation campaign aimed at damaging France’s reputation in its ability to host the Paris 2024 Games was orchestrated last summer by actors linked to Azerbaijan. A report by Viginum, the French organization fighting foreign digital interference, explains that the investigations began on July 26, when “several visuals calling for a boycott of the 2024 Olympics” were detected on social networks. They were massively shared on X (ex Twitter). The report states that the posts featured “images of riots or the city of Paris“, accompanied by the Olympic rings, three official Paris 2024 X accounts and two hashtags, #PARIS2024 and #BOYCOTTPARIS2024. In two days, more than 1,600 publications accompanied by these visuals or hashtags were posted on the platform. They were allegedly the work of 91 accounts, 40 of which were created in July 2023 alone. Viginum’s investigation found that a significant proportion of these accounts “had at least one link to Azerbaijan“: a photo featuring the Azerbaijani flag or Azerbaijani locations, a declared location in Azerbaijan, the presence of Azeri characters, or the promotion of videos or excerpts from statements by the Azerbaijani president. At the end of last week, the IOC issued a statement explaining that it too had been the victim of fake news, mostly published on Telegram, but without specifying the origin or nature of this disinformation campaign.