Social networks are faced with a flood of fakes and false information on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which quickly spread to the media. About this with reference to experts writes Financial Times newspaper.
The situation in the Middle East escalated sharply on October 7, when the Palestinian Hamas movement launched attacks on Israeli territory, entering a number of border towns and taking hostages. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an address to the nation that the country is in a state of war. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has launched a military operation in the Gaza Strip.
Both military personnel and thousands of civilians were killed and injured during the conflict. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, already critical, was “fast becoming unbearable.” Due to the Israeli blockade, there is no electricity, water or fuel in the sector. And houses, schools, shelters, and medical centers are subject to intense bombing.
Experts note that social networks and the media are overwhelmed by streams of lies about the conflict. In particular, reports that Qatar threatened to stop gas exports were demonstrably false. However, some information, which was later recognized as fake, was initially in the “gray zone.”
For example, accusations against the Hamas movement of beheading babies, which made it onto the front pages of newspapers and into the speech of US President Joe Biden. A White House spokesman later admitted that the head of state did not have independent confirmation of such data.
Experts at business intelligence group CREOpoint, which tracks fake news, have noted that there has been a “hundred-fold explosion” in the number of false claims about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“Online lies are growing rapidly, causing strong reactions across time zones, with enormous global and social consequences,” stated CREOpoint CEO Jean-Claude Goldenstein.
Politicians are trying to fight the flow of fakes. In particular, the European Union began an investigation into the social network X (formerly Twitter); warnings were also sent to the TikTok platform and the Meta corporation, which is banned in Russia and recognized as an extremist organization.
And New York State Attorney General Letitia James sent letters to the heads of Google, X, TikTok, Reddit and the video platform Rumble demanding that they explain what steps they have taken to “stop the spread of hateful content” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Previously, Jewish schools in London were closed due to fears of “medieval anti-Semitism.” A foundation supporting British Jews said the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes has tripled since the Hamas attack on Israel.