False Images Depicting Atrocities in Aleppo Spreading Around on Social Media
With the battle of Aleppo heading into its final days, and thousands of trapped civilians still attempting to evacuate the rebel-held eastern part of the city, something troubling has been brewing online.
While the media has reported mass killings and other atrocities that have occurred in Aleppo, there have been no photos, videos or images depicting these horrors. To fill that vacuum, images purporting to be from Aleppo have been shared on Twitter and Facebook. The problem is those photos have been taken from other places in the world, and even music videos.
— Partisangirl (@Partisangirl) December 14, 2016
As Vocativ highlighted, the reason why these fake images are circulating is likely part of an effort to create doubt that the reports of hundred of thousands of deaths in Aleppo are exaggerated or even completely untrue.
The dissemination of anachronistic or curated information are both intentionally carried out for propaganda purposes as well as by inadvertent social media users. In both cases, the atmosphere of misinformation only strengthens the Syrian regime’s insistence that all Western media reports of its forces’ atrocities are false.
In an effort to combat the spreading of these false pics, a video was created by FirstDraftNews showing social media users how to do a reverse search of an image before sharing.
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) December 13, 2016
The UN estimated in April that 400,000 people had been killed in Syria and thousands have been displaced from Aleppo. Meanwhile, evacuations were suspended on Friday due to the unsafe conditions in the area, with concerns of increased volatility.
[image via screengrab]
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