Google and Al-Jazeera's failed propaganda operation
Voltaire Network

Google and Al-Jazeera’s failed propaganda operation


In August 2012, Google created an application for counting desertions from the Syrian Arab Army, as attested by an email from Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas, to State Secretary Hillary Clinton and her advisors William Burns, Jacob Sullivan and Alec Ross [1].

JPEG - 43.3 kb

Later on, Google sold this application to the Qatari TV channel Al-Jazeera, which received a prize for the best technical innovation in on-line Media. The prize was awarded by a group founded by the British communications agency Drum Network, of which Google is a shareholder.

However, the results of the application were a disappointment – desertions from the Syrian Arab Army never rose above 25,000 - while, taking into account the violence of the war and the number of casualties, the number of absent without leave rose to 130,000 - which is why the application was withdrawn by Al-Jazeera.

Pete Kimberley

[1] Hillary Clinton e-mail.

Voltaire Network

Voltaire, international edition

Article licensed under Creative Commons

The articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND).

Support Voltaire Network

You visit this website to seek quality analysis that enables you to forge your own understanding of today’s world. In order to continue our work, we need you to support our efforts.
Help us by making a contribution.

How to participate in Voltaire Network?

The members of our team are all volunteers.
- Professional-level mother-tongue translators: you can help us by translating our articles.