The French Twittersphere is on fire after a report leaked accounts of those tweeting on the Emmanuel Macron bodyguard scandal. Politicians Jean-Luc Melenchon and Marine Le Pen were shocked to find themselves blacklisted.
The now widely-discussed report was released by EU DisinfoLab – a Brussels-based non-governmental organization. Its stated mission is to fight “disinformation with innovative methodology.”
The NGO decided to counter this very disinformation over Emmanuel Macron’s very own ‘Watergate’ scandal which involved his protester-beating bodyguard Alexandre Benalla. Macron’s ‘Rambo’ case has been blazing in the headlines for nearly a month now. New details, the president’s reaction and lengthy op-eds on the consequences of the ‘Bennala affair’ are being released by media on an almost daily basis, along with heated discussions on social platforms.
The EU DisinfoLab report stressed that an “extraordinary” number of Benalla-linked tweets had been published, twice the number of those affiliated with the #JeSuisCharlie trend. The group stressed there were so-called ‘Russophiles’ linked to this activity.
It said that it explained in the report what exactly the word ‘Russophile’ means. This is someone who shares “publicly and regularly articles from RT and Sputnik, which are state-funded Russian media” and who promotes “the pro-Russian narrative,” according to the NGO.
To make the findings even more transparent, the Brussels-based group leaked the names of the active Twitter accounts. Jean-Luc Melenchon, a 2017 presidential candidate and Emmanuel Macron’s most trenchant critic, found his name on the ‘blacklist.’
“Hey, stupid spook! I'm not a Russian bot. It's just me, Melenchon, who tweets against you! If you need to leave me to remember, it’s that you're even dumber than you look,” the enraged leader of La France Insoumise (FI) political party angrily tweeted.