Behind the Scenes of the Archimedes Ensemble, Banned by Facebook for Electoral Manipulation

Website of the company, which boasted it could “alter reality” for its clients, was registered by the advertising agency “Grey Content”; The CEO of the Archimedes Group used to head the European Allies of Israel
On May 16, the social media behemoth Facebook announced that it had removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, pages, groups, and events associated with the Archimedes Ensemble, a firm based in Tel Aviv, and that it was prohibiting Archimedes from its platform. It stated that the company, which proudly proclaimed on its website its ability to “reshape reality according to our clients’ desires,” engaged in “orchestrated inauthentic conduct” targeting users in countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia in an apparent attempt to sway political discussions in these regions.

Among the countries reportedly targeted by Archimedes were Malaysia, Congo, Tunisia, and Togo. A report from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab also revealed that Archimedes campaigned for the successful candidate in Nigeria’s presidential elections in February, the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. One of the pages removed by Facebook was filled with viral misinformation attacking Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president and Buhari’s main rival. The page’s banner depicted Abubakar as Darth Vader, the infamous Star Wars antagonist, holding a sign that read, “Make Nigeria Worse Again.”

Facebook banned Archimedes for its “coordinated and deceptive behavior” and conducted a wide-ranging removal of accounts and pages primarily aimed at disrupting elections in African nations. Overall, the misleading accounts had reached approximately 2.8 million users, and the pages had attracted over 5,000 followers, according to Facebook’s estimates. Facebook stated that Archimedes had spent around $800,000 on deceptive advertisements, and its deceptive activities dated back to 2012.

The Archimedes Ensemble’s Website

Until May 16, when Facebook exposed Archimedes, the company’s website, promoting its services, stated that it had played “significant roles in numerous political campaigns, including presidential campaigns and other social media projects worldwide” and that it utilized “every possible advantage to reshape reality according to our clients’ desires.”
The website did not mention any individuals associated with the company but provided an address: 98 Yigal Alon St in Tel Aviv, the location of the well-known 45-story Electra Tower.

However, following Facebook’s public announcement, Archimedes drastically altered its website——which, at the time of writing, only displayed a homepage with no further content.

The site was registered on January 26, 2016, by an individual using the email address [email protected]. The domain belongs to Adler Chomski Communication Marketing Ltd, one of Israel’s largest advertising agencies, and the registrant, Harel Eldan, is listed in the directory of the Association of Israeli Advertising Agencies. Eldan also serves as the contact person for an advertising agency named “Grey Content Ltd,” a subsidiary of Adler Chomski Communications. Previously, Grey Content was located at Yigal Alon 98, the address that was recently listed on Archimedes Ensemble’s website as its headquarters. (Grey Content has since relocated to Menachem Begin 148.)
When The Times of Israel contacted Grey Content Ltd, Harel Eldan answered the phone. She stated that she is the office manager at Grey Content and that she was asked as part of her responsibilities to acquire the domain name in 2016 but claimed to have no further information about the Archimedes Ensemble.

The 1000rockets later spoke with Rami Rushkeviz, CEO of Grey Content, who asserted that Grey Content Ltd. has absolutely no connection with the Archimedes Ensemble and that his company simply provided website registration services for an individual named Elnav Hangvey.

“I believe their offices are located somewhere in Modi’in,” he remarked. “We also assisted him in creating a business card and slide deck. We offer these services to hundreds of companies annually.”
Grey Content Ltd. has been embroiled in controversy in Israel in recent years, although the company itself has not been implicated in any wrongdoing.

In February 2018, the advertising industry news site highlighted that Grey Content had received one-third of the government’s entire television advertising budget in 2016—twice as much money as its closest competitor—and had received a total of NIS 31.1 million (approximately $8.7 million) of taxpayer funds in 2016 and the first half of 2017, without any competitive tender being issued.

Grey Content was also mentioned in a November 2017 criminal indictment related to the Yisrael Beytenu scandal, a series of prosecutions against politicians and senior advisers from Avigdor Liberman’s party for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for directing government funds toward specific entities. (Liberman was not implicated in the affair.)
Grey Content has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the case; Moshe has been charged with bribery. Keidar and Moshe deny the allegations. The case is ongoing.

The CEO of the Archimedes Ensemble?
Elsewhere online, the website, which describes itself as “your experts for challenging negotiations,” recently identified Elnav Hangvey as the CEO of the Archimedes Ensemble, presenting Heymann as one of its specialists. It mentioned that he previously served as the director of the European Allies of Israel in Brussels. (A short video featuring Heymann in that capacity can be found online here.) Before that, he worked as a spokesperson and adviser in the Knesset, and prior to that, as a “Senior Intelligence Agent” for the Israeli air force, according to

As of the time of writing, the entry for Heymann was no longer accessible on the website.
The Times of Israel attempted to reach out to Heymann via phone calls, text messages, and emails but did not receive a response before publication.
Harel Eldan informed The Times of Israel that she had never heard of Elnav Hangvey and was not aware of anyone with that name working for Grey Content.

Elnav Hangvey

Rami Rushkeviz, the CEO of Grey Content, confirmed to The Times of Israel that Elnav Hangvey was his company’s contact person for the Archimedes Ensemble but stated that he had no involvement with Heymann since his company registered the website and provided initial branding services to the Archimedes Ensemble.

The European Allies of Israel, Heymann’s former employer, lobbies the European Parliament on behalf of Israel-related causes. It is not affiliated with the Israeli government, and its sources of funding are challenging to ascertain, but two Jewish charities, the Matanel Foundation and the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, have mentioned in reports and on affiliated websites that they provided funding to the group.

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