Kolkata: The genocide by Israel in Palestine and Gaza in particular has turned India, the world’s largest democracy into disinformation capital of the world. While Indian fact-checkers have pointed out thousands of misleading tweets and claims in favour of Israel since the Hamas attack on Israel, now on the global level, it is being noticed.
On Tuesday, Twitter handle Frida Khan claimed that she is an Al Jazeera journalist. She tweeted after Israel bombed Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, killing more than 1000 people including children, “I am Al Jazeera Journalist Farida Khan working in Khan Younis, Gaza. I saw with my own eyes that it was the Hamas “Ayyash 250” Rocket. It was Hamas misfired Rocket. Al Jazeera is lying. I have video of that Hamas missile landing in the hospital (sic).”
Soon Al Jazeera tweeted and denied that there is any such journalist associated with them.
“Disclaimer: The X / Twitter account @_Faridakhan falsely claims Al Jazeera affiliation. We want to clarify: This account has no ties to Al Jazeera, its views, or content. Exercise caution, verify information prior to publishing (sic).”
After Al Jazeera’s tweet, Farida Khan deleted her first and later account.
Indian fact-checker and Co-founder of Alt News, Mohammed Zubair then pointed out that not only the claim of Farida Khan that she works for Al Jazeera, but her account is fake. The account is of someone from India and it is not of a girl as the name suggests.
Zubair has already debunked thousands of fake tweets and accounts which were falsely claimed in favour of Israel. He also showed, how an old video of 2022 is being shared as Hamas misfired a rocket on a hospital in Gaza.
He also pointed out that right wing troll accounts like @Smokingskills07, which mocks the minor victims in Gaza, is followed by women and child development minister Smriti Irani and several BJP MPs.
Another fact check organization BOOM Live debunked a fake tweet on October 18 by an Indian handler. “A photo of a list of 17 Nepali nationals who were either killed or injured in Kibbutz Alumim during the recent #Hamas attack is being shared with a false claim that they are names of Indian citizens kidnapped by the Islamic militant group (sic)”.
There are thousands of fake handles and tweets in support of the Israeli military’s propaganda doing rounds. The biggest was that Hamas beheaded forty babies. Which misled media houses as well as American President Joe Biden.
On October 13, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the US Representative, NY-14 (BX & Queens) tweeted, “The level of misinformation in all directions at this moment is incredibly high, especially on this platform. If you see a claim, photo, or video that triggers a strong emotional reaction, take a moment to pause and check for veracity/confirmation from multiple sources (sic)”. She did not mention any particular country, from where it is being originated, maybe it was not her work.
But a day ahead, fact-checker Pratik Sinha said that now the world would have realized how the Indian right wing has made India the disinformation capital of the world. Sinha tweeted, “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. The disinformation originating from India that fact-checkers globally are having to contend with, Indian fact-checkers have been dealing with that every day for several years now (sic).”