Notorious anti-American Communist Jackson Hinkle has gone from Pro-Russian to Pro-Hamas propagandist

Notorious anti-American Communist Jackson Hinkle has gone from Pro-Russian to Pro-Hamas propagandist
Fake news is a big thing in the field of Social Media Journalism. Fake news can be as simple has spreading misinformation.or as dangerous as smearing hateful propaganda.
Fabrizio Moreira

The avalanche of disinformation shared about Israel and Palestine amid the recent conflict has been well documented. the surge of misattributed videos, images, and claims — which have spread across X, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms. His sudden rise may stem from more than good luck.

Sensing a money-making opportunity in the days that followed the horrifying attack, Hinkle went into conspiracy overdrive and began pumping out anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda on an almost industrial scale.

Hinkle, who routinely posts false information on X about the Israel-Hamas War and content in favor of dictatorships, and his account "can be used to manipulate American public opinion by using fake engagements to amplify posts with misinformation, hate speech, and other forms of harassment, in violation of platforms rules and policies.

Israeli research company Cyabra had found that from a sample of 12,510 of Hinkle's followers, roughly 40% were fake. Hinkle's popularity on X had skyrocketed by 1.2 million followers in the first 19 days of the war, which was fueled by fake engagement. As peopel flocked to X to get the latest on the conflict the Kremlin and CCP bot and troll farms amlified the accounts that served theit agenda and algoritm suggested him as account to follow across many placemetns.

The fact that a popular influencer like Hinkle posts misinformation while also engaging with and receiving support from fake social media activists, can be a potential tool for foreign actors to influence public discourse.

While there are almost too many flagrant instances of him sharing disinformation about Israel’s battle against Hamas to count, Hinkle appears to “specialize” in sharing outright fake pieces of information, including doctored and computer-generated imagery.

According to New York Times Jackson's rise is attributed to state-sponsored networks, bots and inauthentic accounts that were amplifying Mr. Hinkle’s provocative brew of political views. ChinaRussia and other foreign actors are known to use such tactics to achieve their geopolitical goals — including efforts to influence this fall’s presidential election.

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From an early age, Mr. Hinkle understood that zealous support of a cause could win public attention. He grew up in San Clemente, in Southern California, a surfer who heavily marketed his own embrace of environmental activism, gun control measures and progressive politics.

As a teenager, he helped start an environmental cleanup organization and another to encourage young people to run for political office. Teen Vogue recognized him as a top young environmentalist; Reader’s Digest included him on a list of inspirational children. He posed in an Instagram photo with the actor Will Smith, whose son Jaden Smith worked with Mr. Hinkle to limit plastic water bottles in schools.

Perry Meade, a progressive organizer who worked with Mr. Hinkle on campaigns as teenagers, said his “overarching understanding of Jackson was that he always wanted to be famous,” adding, “Sure, he cared about things, but he came first.”

His activities soon turned political. At his high school graduation in 2018, he knelt during the national anthem in protest against police brutality and racial injustice. He twice ran unsuccessfully for San Clemente’s City Council, when he was 19 and 20. One local conservative blog called him “an extreme left-wing ideologue.”

Today, he says he is a Stalinist and a Maoist who was expelled from the Communist Party of the United States. (Roberta Wood, a party leader in Chicago, said he subscribed to the newsletter but had never joined the party and did not reflect its values.) He once supported Bernie Sanders, but now praises former President Donald J. Trump.

As Mr. Hinkle’s focus settled on international affairs, his audiences grew. He supported authoritarian leaders like Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whom he called a “hero.” When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, he embraced Mr. Putin’s rationale for the conflict.

Mr. Hinkle drew critics’ attention for frequently spreading Russian propaganda about Ukraine, including disinformation linked to covert Kremlin campaigns. His affection for Russia was personal, too.

He first traveled there in September with Anna Linnikova, a model crowned Miss Russia in 2022. For a time, they were engaged to be married. Mr. Hinkle posted a photo of the pair posing in front of Moscow’s Red Square last year and said they were moving to Miami together. (By the end of 2023, they appeared to have split acrimoniously.)

He visited Russia again recently to attend a conference organized by Konstantin Malofeyev and Aleksandr Dugin, both prominent nationalists who face sanctions in the United States. He said he had been attracted by Mr. Dugin’s writings, which glorify Russian culture, as an antidote to corrupted values in the West.

It was only when Hamas invaded Israel that month, though — when Mr. Hinkle began posting constantly about criticism of Israel and Russian support for Palestinians — that his account on X reached stratospheric heights.

Several organized networks of inauthentic accounts amplified his posts, according to Next Dim, an Israeli company that studies inauthentic activity online and that previously found evidence of an effort to amplify pro-Beijing messages on X.

One of the organized networks had previously boosted unrelated content — in Chinese — that criticized the Japanese government for releasing radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in August, the researchers found. Once the fighting began in Gaza, the same network, which had at least 20,000 accounts, began reposting Mr. Hinkle’s content.

Mr. Hinkle spoke admiringly of Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host who has peddled pro-Russian narratives, and Candace Owens, a conservative commentator who left The Daily Wire’s website last month. Mr. Hinkle, who said he had turned down a job offer from a foreign media outlet that he declined to disclose, compared himself to Mr. Carlson and Ms. Owens: “We’re all independent — not by choice.”

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