Fake news on social media about the war between Israel and Hamas: A challenge to the media

Fake news on social media about the war between Israel and Hamas: A challenge to the media
Smoke in the sky of Gaza City after an Israeli army air strike

Noos News

  • Nord de Court

    Online editor

  • Nord de Court

    Online editor

What is real and what is fake? This is the question that many media outlets are interested in this week when covering the war between Israel and Hamas. The challenge is greater than it was a few years ago, because so much is being shared on X – formerly Twitter forged videos and forged So that he knows.

This week, for example, a video spread on social media showing children trapped in cages. They were allegedly detained by Hamas after Saturday’s attack. After investigation, it was found that the video was published before October 7, or before the Hamas attack.

Fake news is a well-known tactic in wartime situations to sow division among opponents. This is why the media is trying to find out whether the information about the war between Israel and Hamas is true or not. At NOS, Joric de Vries investigates the potential for use of images in TV news and on the Internet. He specializes in OSINT, which stands for Open Source Intelligence. He is also facing more fake news than before.

“At Company “Musk believes that freedom of expression should be absolute and sees X as a box for exchanging ideas. But it is naive to think that this should not be controlled.”

Less reliable check marks

Accounts with blue check marks on the X play a major role in spreading misinformation. These are exactly the accounts that were previously known to be reliable. “But nowadays you can easily buy a blue check mark,” Duevstein explains. “You can get a subscription for $8 to $12 a month. That way you appear trusted, and Twitter makes money from it.”

Due to the increase in misinformation on X, more and more reliable sources are disappearing from this platform, according to De Vries. “They have the idea: It’s like swabbing with the faucet running.” According to him, these types of sources are turning into media like Bluesky, but it is not yet a popular medium like X.

Distinguish between real and fake

De Vries comes across different types of fake videos while working at NOS. Old photos, wrong locations, or a combination of both. For example, sometimes photos appear claiming to have been filmed in Israel, but they turn out to have been done in Ukraine. Other examples of fake news include video game items that appear real com. deepfakeVideos.

To check if photos are real, De Vries checks where and when something was filmed and when the video first appeared online. Searches the video for clues to a geographic location, such as a church. “They’re usually on Google Maps.”

Stick to hit with

Meanwhile, the European Union is trying to limit the amount of fake news legislation For online platforms. If they do not comply, the European Commission can impose fines of up to 6% of global annual turnover.

The option to impose fines is “a stick to beat with,” Doevstein says. In X this can be very expensive. “I don’t think they can miss it.”

European Commissioner Breton this week called on X-boss Musk to do something against fake news about the Hamas attack on the platform. Today it was announced that X has taken action: hundreds of Hamas-affiliated accounts have been deleted, along with tens of thousands of posts.

But De Vries believes social media users should take responsibility themselves. “When things are bad, people tend to share something right away.” In this way they contribute to the spread of fake news. “First, take a step back. Have you verified the location and time of the video? Think, then move forward. Not the other way around.”

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