Deloitte detects attacks on Bartomeu and groups them by communities, one of them, a follower of means prone to sovereignty.
Thursday, July 23, 2020 – 10:56 PM
The war of the ‘trolls’
Without the auditor’s conclusions
The consultancy Deloitte has prepared a report for Barcelona in which it accredits the existence of massive reputational cyber attacks on the Internet from different communities, one of them related to Catalan independence, which seek to discredit the institution and the directive that it presides over Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Deloitte Cyber’s team has detected the existence of bots (computer programs designed to perform repetitive tasks) expressly programmed to damage the reputation of the club and its officers, as specified by the consultant.
The study accounts for at least 3,281 bots, which have generated 19,359 mentions and 23,200 negative impacts. Cyber attacks have caused 12.5% of comments on social networks on different matters related to the club to have originated from non-human users coming, in turn, from 5% of accounts (half of them deleted by Twitter at Check your fraudulent activity) automated.
One of the bot communities identified in Catalonia, stresses the report that EL MUNDO has had access to, is characterized by spreading web links elnacional.cat and mentions of its director, Jos Antich, while taking sides in favor of independence. In his conclusions, Deloitte points out that from the conversations on social networks analyzed during the last months, the bots They have generated 20,000 negative mentions against the Barça club of almost 300,000 analyzed mentions.
“Criticism of managers”
Among the main objectives of this strategy of cyber poisoning is, in the opinion of the consultant, to spread criticism to managers and oversize the situation with 13 Ventures, the hiring carried out by the Bara of this company precisely to monitor social networks, a well-known process popularly like Baragate, and in which it is investigated if, in addition, I measured the commission on the part of the club to create bots to attack players and opponents, an end that the entity has denied.
On the contrary, Barcelona has identified, through the aforementioned Deloitte analysis, five communities of bots in which they appear bots haters recurrently. The consultant warns that it is bots intelligent that reinvent themselves and seek, increasingly, to have a human behavior. In many cases they are users created years ago, improved, infiltrated in real conversation and communities of Barcelona that, in addition, employ possible camouflage techniques by being active in hours of publication of human behavior or humanizing the account by introducing original content.
Among the most aggressive communities against Bara, Deloitte highlights the existence of one called Catalan, made up of 2,813 users that stands out for its interest in the Catalan political situation and which houses bots harmful that only pursue the reputational damage of club executives. This community, the report points out, is dedicated to spreading links of elnacional.cat, having redirected to this medium on 840 occasions during the period analyzed by the consultant.
“Publications in Russian”
Likewise, Deloitte highlights the existence of another community that it baptizes Ftbol Club Barcelona, which has 1,215 users and, under the guise of the Barcelona team, is characterized by the rejection of the directive and, surprisingly, houses publications in Russian.
Automated attacks have also been detected from national and international communities of Real Madrid fans and even from a community of social network users who launch their attacks from Nigeria and Ghana.
Among the themes addressed in the attacks, surprisingly, the most recurring is that of the club’s managers. In this way, messages such as part of the Bara leadership have asked Bartomeu for his resignation and early elections this summer or others that brand the fans who defend Bartomeu as subnormal have been spread by cyber attacks. Second, the most prominent issue is the Baragate, which gives way to less active themes such as the possible return of Neymar or about Quique Setin.
Many mentions have an ironic connotation and are published by (alleged) Real Madrid fans.
To make the attacks more effective, they were created hashtags to as bartomeuout, bartomeudimissio, baragate The votdecensura2019, and Twitter accounts that have been removed were used, as in the case of @Valverdebotout, who published 1,259 mentions requesting the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu and Ernesto Valverde. Others have also been detected that repeat messages of the type Bara gives me life and Bartomeu’s management as president, the desire to take it from me.
As for the negative conversations generated by cyber attacks, the vast majority (around 95%) speak specifically of Bartomeu, without mentioning names of other managers. Many mentions have an ironic connotation and are published by (supposed) Madrid fans who thank Bartomeu for his way of managing the club. Likewise, another of the campaigns featured Neymar after negotiating his return to Bara. The bots They stressed the lack of financial resources on the part of Barcelona to sign him.
According to what this newspaper has learned, Barcelona is considering putting Deloitte’s report in the hands of the Prosecutor to identify the author of the cyber attacks against the club and its leaders.
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