The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental organization established in 1989 by the G7 Summit to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
Pakistan and FATF grey list
Pakistan was put on the grey list of FAFT in June 2018 for failing to check money laundering leading to terror financing. And, was given a plan of action to be completed by October 2019.
Pakistan is still on this list of bad guys who are considered as heaven for money for supporting terror funding and money laundering. Now, Pak has successfully met the 34 items on two separate action plans. After four long years, the way out for Pakistan from the FATF grey list is clear. But it’s not done yet. But the false news that Pakistan is removed from the grey list of FATF spread all over social media. In this DFRAC exclusive report, we will analyze the key factors behind the amplification of this false information.
Media houses publishing wrong information
A serious concern about the credibility of the news houses can be observed as many big media houses from Pakistan as well as India have published this fake news. Many Pakistani media houses run this fake news. Moreover, many leading Indian media houses like News India and AajTak have published this fake news.
People targeting India unnecessary
Any incident taking place in Pakistan, India’s name is automatically dragged in between. Like Ashok Swain, who calls himself Professor of Peace and Conflict Research targeting India Tweeted, “Pakistan is expected to be removed from FATF ‘grey list’ today. If that happens, the Imran Khan government’s actions and the present government’s diplomacy will share the credit, and Indian media will likely blame China.” Similarly, many social media users have targeted India on this unrelated issue.
PTI supporter launch a credit giving campaign for Imran Khan
After the news went viral hashtags like, #ThankYouImranKhan were uses more than 18,000 times. Other top hashtags include #شکریہعمرانخان, #Pakistan, etc. #FAFT was used more than 22,000 times.
User Creation Timeline
Analysing more than 24,600 users who all interacted on the hashtags of #FATF, we drew their account creation timeline. It can be seen that the growth of accounts creation increased from the year 2022.
Also noting that there is a peak in the graph which indicates the maximum number of accounts who all interacted on the hashtags were created in the month of April with more than 2,880 accounts.
Fake Tweets giving credit to Imran Khan
There are many users who tweeted fake news that Pakistan is removed from the grey list of FATF and thanked Imran Khan. The Twitter account South Asia Index wrote, “Just IN:— FATF has removed Pakistan from grey list after its 3 days plenary in Berlin, Germany.” Some of the account which posted this fake news and gave credit to Imran Khan includes, @Takbeer64, @MubarakZaid11, @JunaidSiddique, @ WasemAwan and @samra545.
The below wordcloud shows what were the words that were used majority of times in the tweets containing these hashtags. Some of the words include, “Congratulations”, “Removed”, “Imran Khan”, “FATF”, “Grey”, etc.
Timeline of Tweets
The below timeline shows that that the hashtags on #FATF, #FATF_is_khanCredit, #ThankYouImranKhan, #شکریہعمرانخان, etc. have majorly started from 16th of June and noticed a peak on 17th of June with more than 27,000 tweets done and almost 6,000 replies done with the hashtags.
Below are the accounts listed who were mentioned the most in these hashtags. At the top, @ImranKhanPTI was tagged over 3,500 times followed by @Hammad_Azhar with 2,168 tags. @OfficialDGISPR, @BBhuttoZardari and @PTIofficial were also tagged nearly 1,000, 586 and 565 times respectively.
Accounts Tweeted the Most
Below are the accounts listed which tells which were the accounts who tweeted maximum number of times on the hashtags. Some of the top accounts include, @abdullkhan2542 who tweeted maximum number of times, i.e. 300. Followed by @Awanzada_Shahid with 105 tweets, @IAmImranKhanSo1 and @ansamehmood261 with 91 tweets each.
We also analysed location of the accounts who all were involved with these hashtags and came to know that out of 15,000 users, 10,110 accounts were from Pakistan. Followed by 410 accounts from UAE and 358 from UK. The location of the accounts are located in below graph.
Verified Accounts Who Tweeted
Non-Verified Accounts Who Tweeted
Types of Accounts
The pie-chart shows that 99% of the accounts were non-verified accounts i.e. 24,382 accounts and 1.04% are the verified accounts i.e. 257 who all tweeted with the hashtags.
Top Pakistani Accounts Who Tweeted
Below is the graph depicting top Pakistani twitter handles who tweeted on the hashtags. Some of the top accounts include, @PTIofficial, @mubasherlucman, @fawadchaudhry, @SMQureshiPTI, @RehamKhan1, @zartajgulwazir, @GovtofPakistan, @InsafPK, @BabarAwanPK, @ShireenMazari1, @UdarOfficial, @arifhameed15, @NasimZehra, @QasimKhanSuri, etc.
The key findings of this DFRAC Exclusive report are:
- Lot of tweets on this fake news was done which are majorly from PTI supporters.
- Many big media houses including Aajtak and Pakistani media house
- More than, 113 accounts are such accounts who changed their usernames after tweeting on the hashtags.
- Around 590 accounts have ‘PTI’ written in their usernames.
- 2,880 fresh accounts were created in April 2022 who all interacted on the hashtags.
- More than 1,700 accounts have ‘PTI’ written in the bios.