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India Major Source of 'Misinformation' Amid Palestine-Israel Ongoing War

The report has also alleged that many social media users who are spreading pro-Israel and ant-Palestine fake videos and images “can be traced to BJP IT Cell”. Read More

Friday October 20, 2023 3:30 PM, ummid.com News Network

India Major Source of 'Misinformation' Amid Palestine-Israel Ongoing War

Mumbai: India has emerged as a major source of ‘misinformation’ during the ongoing war between the Zionist Regime in Israel and the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza, West Bank and the occupied territories, an analysis by fact-checkers has revealed.

The analysis by the fact-checkers also revealed that the social media users having the Indian Tricolor in their bio and who are known for their anti-Muslim hate posts are at the forefronts in spreading fake images and videos depicting Palestinian freedom struggle in negative light.

“Several verified Indian X users at the helm of a disinformation campaign.These “disinfluencers” – influencers who have routinely shared disinformation – have been “mostly targeting Palestine negatively, or being supportive of Israel”, Al Jazeera reported citing BOOM, one of India’s most reputed fact-checking services.

“They have peddled tropes that have sought to showcase Palestinians as fundamentally brutal”, the fact-checker said.

The analysis said a video that falsely claimed Hamas kidnapped a Jewish kid, was viewed and retweeted thousands of time, and “seven of the top 10 most-shared tweets featuring the misleading video were profiles based in India or containing the Indian flag in their biography.”

“These seven tweets alone received more than 3 million impressions on X. However, the video was from September and had nothing to do with kidnapping or indeed with Gaza”, the report said.

“Many of the accounts sharing these false videos also spend a lot of their time posting anti-Muslim comments on X”, the report claimed.

The analysis also cited a report by the Australia-based Islamic Council of Victoria which found that the majority of all Islamophobic tweets can be traced back to India.

Role BJP IT Cell

The report has also alleged that many social media users who are spreading pro-Israel and ant-Palestine fake videos and images “can be traced to BJP IT Cell”.

“The plight of Palestinians has drawn Islamophobes like moths to a light and this can be witnessed on social media. Part of this online hatred can be traced to what has been called the “BJP’s IT Cell”, who have fanned the flames of hatred”, the report cell.

While the BJP’s IT Cell may have an Islamophobia problem, it also has a disinformation problem, and it is coming to the conflict in Gaza.

“With India now exporting its disinformation actors in the Indian mainstream media and on social media in support of Israel, hopefully the world will now realise how the Indian right-wing has made India the disinformation capital of the world”, Pratik Sinha, a co-founder and editor of the Indian non-profit fact-checking website AltNews, wrote on social media site X, originally launched as Twitter.

"Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rise has led to a surge in online disinformation spread by far-right accounts in the country. Now they are bringing that skillset to the Israel-Gaza war", Al Jazzera claimed in its report.

The British broadcaster BBC has also claimed in a report that misinformation including fake videos and images have flooded different social media sites, especially after Palestinian resistance group Hamas launched its Operation al Aqsa Flood on October 7, 2023.

“Social media has been awash with false claims, conspiracy theories and hateful content surrounding what's happening in Israel and Gaza - and questions over whether inauthentic accounts are being used to manipulate the conversation”, Marianna Spring, BBC Disinformation and social media correspondent, wrote in an article.

“That can have serious implications for the international community when it comes to investigating allegations of war crimes, providing aid and figuring out what's happening where”, she wrote.

Celebrities sharing fake information

In her article Marianna also said misinformation is being spread not only by little known unverified social media accounts but also by people who can easily be identified some of whom are celebrities.

“…. Celebrities, like popstar Justin Bieber, who inadvertently shared a post on Instagram asking people to "pray for Israel' - but used images showing the destruction of Gaza by Israeli forces”, the BBC reported.

Role of Modi Supporters

BBC in its report also said that many of those behind spreading misinformation are from India seemingly having allegiance to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Some very active accounts on X sharing pro-Israel content and anti-Muslim posts appear to be based in India and express support for the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, the BBC said.

Also Read | Hindutva Collusion With Zionists Worrisome

Citing Cyabra, a company based in Israel that analyses social media, BBC reported that one in five accounts taking part in conversations about the attacks committed by Hamas since 7 October are fake.

The company says they've found approximately 40,000 fake accounts, including on X and TikTok, according to BBC.


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