December 4, 2023

World Information

In current weeks, social media customers have pushed false claims that “disaster actors” are staging scenes of carnage and that U.S. Marines are flooding in to battle on the bottom in Gaza.

Palestinians search for survivors within the rubble of a destroyed constructing following an Israeli airstrike in Bureij refugee camp, Gaza Strip, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (AP Photograph/Mohammed Dahman) AP

Misinformation in regards to the newest Israel-Hamas conflict is flourishing on social media platforms, the place misrepresented video footage, mistranslations, and outright falsehoods usually crowd out actual reporting from the battle.

In current weeks, customers have pushed false claims that “disaster actors” are staging scenes of carnage and that U.S. Marines are flooding in to battle on the bottom in Gaza.

Here’s a nearer take a look at the most recent misinformation spreading on-line — and the details.


CLAIM: A video exhibits Russian President Vladimir Putin saying Russia will ship “assist to Palestine.”

THE FACTS: The video is from 2021 and exhibits Putin talking in regards to the defeat of Nazism at Russia’s Victory Day navy parade. Russia has to this point issued fastidiously calibrated criticism of either side within the Israel-Hamas conflict.

For the reason that begin of the battle in October, social media customers have repeatedly shared false claims about international leaders ’ feedback on the conflict.

Within the newest occasion, customers are sharing the previous video of Putin talking in Russian at a podium alongside clips of a parade that includes navy gear and personnel.

“Putin Introduced Russia Will Overtly Assist To Palestine,” reads the caption overlaying the footage circulating on-line.

Nonetheless, the footage, from Could 2021, exhibits Putin talking on the annual Victory Day navy parade in Moscow’s Purple Sq., which marks the anniversary of the tip of World Conflict II. The total broadcast might be seen in a submit on YouTube.

A transcript of the total speech revealed by the Russian information company Tass exhibits Putin spoke in regards to the defeat of Nazism in World Conflict II whereas warning that Nazi beliefs stay robust. He didn’t point out the present battle within the Center East.

Anna Borshchevskaya, a senior fellow at The Washington Institute and an knowledgeable on Russian international coverage towards the Center East, confirmed Putin says within the video: “Glory to the victors.”

Borshchevskaya added that Putin has traditionally made efforts to construct good relations with Israel however Hamas management has made repeated visits to Moscow as properly.

“Putin has all the time positioned himself as somebody who can speak to all sides,” Borshchevskaya advised the AP.

Putin has not made any express claims about Russia’s stance over the Israel-Hamas conflict, although he publicly declared in early October that Moscow might play the position of mediator.

The Russian chief has condemned the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas militants, however on the identical time warned Israel in opposition to blockading the Gaza strip, the AP reported.

— Related Press author Karena Phan in Los Angeles contributed this report.


CLAIM: A video exhibits a soldier being thrown to the bottom as an airstrike hits an Israeli tank.

THE FACTS: The imagery is computer-generated and was taken from the trailer for a online game known as Squad.

The video, which is circulating on X, the platform previously often called Twitter, seems to indicate a soldier strolling amongst navy automobiles. As an armored car comes up on his left, he waves his hand and says, “Let him by,” earlier than an airstrike hits the car and the soldier is thrown to the bottom.

One consumer shared the video with the caption, “The scene of the destruction of an Israeli tank within the assault of Hamas…”

One other submit on X of the identical video with an analogous caption in Urdu had greater than 18,000 likes.

However the clip is equivalent to the preliminary scenes of the trailer launched for an replace to the first-person shooter sport Squad in December 2022.

Offworld Industries, the sport developer that makes Squad, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

This isn’t the primary time clips of online game footage have been misrepresented as a real-life conflict. Video of the navy simulation sport Arma 3 has been shared as each footage of the most recent Center East battle in addition to the conflict in Ukraine.

— Karena Phan.


CLAIM: Yemen has declared conflict in opposition to Israel.

THE FACTS: Yemen’s internationally acknowledged authorities has not declared conflict on Israel. Houthi rebels that management the nation’s capital launched missiles at Israeli targets this week and threatened additional assaults. However specialists say the Iran-backed militia stopped in need of declaring an all-out conflict in opposition to the Jewish state.

Social media customers are sharing a video of a navy chief wearing fight fatigues talking in Arabic, which they are saying exhibits Yemen has turn into the primary regional energy to formally enter the most recent Israel-Hamas conflict.

“BREAKING: YEMEN DECLARED THEY ARE NOW AT WAR WITH ISRAEL,” wrote one consumer who shared the temporary clip in a submit on X, previously Twitter. “The Republic of Yemen is the primary nation formally to announce its entry into the ‘Battle of the Flood’ of Al-Aqsa and launches numerous ballistic and winged missiles and drones at numerous Israeli IOF targets inside occupied Palestine.”

However Yemen’s official authorities did no such factor. The Houthis, a insurgent group that controls the nationwide capital of Sanaa, introduced Tuesday that it had launched missiles and drones at Israel.

Israel’s navy stated its fighter jets and missile protection system intercepted the salvos outdoors of Israeli territory. The Houthi navy stated Wednesday it fired one other batch of drones towards Israeli targets “in assist of the oppressed Palestinian individuals.”

However the Republic of Yemen, the nation’s internationally-recognized authorities, is led by the Presidential Management Council, defined Thomas Juneau, a professor on the College of Ottawa in Canada who makes a speciality of Yemen.

That authorities, which has no relations with the Houthis, splits its time between Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, and Aden, in southern Yemen.

“The Houthis are the de facto authority in Sanaa, the capital, however it’s certainly inaccurate to say that ‘Yemen’ (or the Republic of Yemen) has declared conflict on Israel,” Juneau wrote in an electronic mail Wednesday.

Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow on the Brookings Establishment’s Middle for Center East Coverage, agreed, including that Iran and Syria are the one two nations to have embassies working in Sanaa, underscoring the group’s lack of worldwide legitimacy.

And whereas the rocket and drone strikes are a big escalation, the insurgent group’s assertion stops in need of committing to an all-out effort to destroy Israel, he stated.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, a spokesperson for the Iran-backed militia, stated in a televised assertion that the insurgent military would launch different strikes at Israel till it halted its assaults on Palestinian territories, which got here in response to Hamas’ shock assault on Oct. 7.

“It implies that if Israel stops bombing Gaza they’ll halt attacking Israel,” Riedel wrote in an electronic mail Wednesday, referring to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory that has obtained the brunt of Israel’s assaults.

Officers with Yemen’s embassy in Washington didn’t reply to emails looking for remark Wednesday.

The Houthis seized Sanaa and far of the nation’s north in 2014. The takeover sparked a regional proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran that has killed greater than 150,000 individuals and created one of many world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

— Related Press writers Philip Marcelo in New York and Jon Gambrell in Dubai contributed this report.


CLAIM: Professional-Palestinian rallies on the College of California, Los Angeles, and the College of Pennsylvania known as for “Jewish genocide.”

THE FACTS: The mantra uttered in movies of current demonstrations is being misrepresented. Protestors aren’t saying, “We wish Jewish genocide,” however “Israel, we cost you with genocide.” Specialists and advocates say it’s a typical chorus heard at pro-Palestinian rallies.

One video being miscaptioned exhibits a gaggle of individuals chanting protest slogans as they marched by the UCLA campus final week.

“In UCLA tons of of scholars chanting: ‘Israel Israel you may’t conceal, we would like Jewish genocide’,” wrote one Instagram consumer in a submit sharing the video final week. “This isn’t Thirties Germany, that is in Los Angeles October twenty sixth 2023!”

One other video captures similar-sounding protest chants at Penn’s campus in Philadelphia on Oct. 16.

“College students @uofpenn gathered chanting ‘We wish Jewish genocide’ ‘there may be just one resolution’ in reference to the Nazis ‘last resolution’,” wrote an Instagram consumer who shared the clip in a submit. “There has presumably by no means ever been a extra harmful time to be a Jewish pupil as Antisemitism continues to develop as a illness.”

However the anti-Israel chants are being misquoted, Jewish and pro-Palestinian teams say.

The protestors are literally chanting, “Israel, Israel, you may’t conceal: We cost you with genocide,” the Anti-Defamation League, which regularly speaks out in opposition to anti-Semitism and extremism, confirmed in an electronic mail Tuesday.

It’s a well-recognized chorus at anti-Israel rallies, however non-Israel-related variations are additionally heard at different protests, the New York-based Jewish group famous on a web page on its webpage debunking false details about the continued battle.

Penn College students In opposition to the Occupation, which organized the Penn rally, dismissed the claims as “blatant disinformation” in an announcement posted on Instagram.

The chants final week at UCLA have been equally misquoted, the college stated on a webpage correcting misinformation associated to campus occasions.

Dan Gold, who heads Hillel UCLA, a serious Jewish group on campus, famous his group has known as out the rally for its dangerous rhetoric in its public statements.

However he personally noticed the protest and confirmed there was no direct name to exterminate Jews.

— Philip Marcelo.


CLAIM: An advert for British division retailer Marks & Spencer exhibits a Palestinian flag burning in a fire.

THE FACTS: The picture exhibits pink, inexperienced and silver paper hats — historically worn at British Christmas dinners — burning in a fire. It’s an outtake from a Christmas business filmed in August that was meant to “playfully” illustrate how individuals don’t get pleasure from some Christmas traditions, together with donning the hats.

On social media, some had falsely claimed the picture depicted a burning Palestinian flag.

“MARKS AND SPENCER SHOW THE PALESTINIAN FLAG BURNING IN A PROMO,” reads one submit on X, previously Twitter. “Their hashtag makes it clear that they supposed to burn the Palestinian flag.”

The submit had obtained roughly 5,900 likes and greater than 4,900 shares by Thursday.

However the picture, which the corporate faraway from its social media accounts after the difficulty arose, was meant to poke enjoyable at a British Christmas custom, not malign Palestinians, Marks & Spencer wrote in an announcement shared on its social media websites on Wednesday.

“As we speak we shared an outtake picture from our Christmas Clothes and House advert, which was recorded in August,” the assertion reads. “It confirmed conventional, festive colored pink, inexperienced and silver Christmas paper occasion hats in a fireplace grate. Whereas the intent was to playfully present that some individuals simply don’t get pleasure from carrying paper Christmas hats over the festive season, we’ve got eliminated the submit following suggestions and we apologise for any unintentional damage induced.”

In a caption on its since-deleted Instagram submit, Marks & Spencer wrote, “This Christmas, do solely what you’re keen on… like saying no to paper hats (though, if we’re trustworthy, we’re partial).” The sentiment is echoed within the last model of the business, which options “Queer Eye” style knowledgeable Tan France, singer Sophie Ellis Bextor, and actors Zawe Ashton and Hannah Waddingham.

The most recent Israel-Hamas conflict started on Oct. 7 after Hamas launched a lethal incursion into southern Israeli cities — greater than a month after the Marks & Spencer business was filmed.

— Related Press author Melissa Goldin in New York contributed this report.


CLAIM: A video exhibiting our bodies transferring after being coated by white cloths is proof that deaths are being faked by Palestinians and Hamas in the course of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

THE FACTS: The video is from 2013 and exhibits college students protesting at Al-Azhar College in Cairo, Egypt.

It’s the newest occasion of social media customers making false accusations that “disaster actors ” and “staged” occasions are getting used to magnify the human toll being taken by the conflict.

The video pans throughout a number of our bodies coated with white cloths, stopping at instances to focus on motion. At one level, the digital camera cuts to a close-up as the material on one physique is lifted to disclose a person who’s laughing.

“Get up World They suppose you might be fools! The masters of faux information,” reads one caption on the video shared on Instagram. “Welcome the palestinians & their Hamas.”

However the unique video was revealed on Oct. 28, 2013, by an Egyptian information outlet on YouTube. It exhibits college students protesting at Al-Azhar College in Cairo. “A illustration of lifeless our bodies inside Al-Azhar College,” reads the translated video title.

“Dozens of Muslim Brotherhood college students at Al-Azhar College organized a large demonstration in entrance of the faculty administration constructing,” reads the video description.

The Related Press reported on Oct. 20, 2013, that the scholars have been supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown by the navy a few yr after taking workplace.

— Karena Phan.


That is a part of AP’s effort to deal with extensively shared misinformation, together with work with outdoors corporations and organizations so as to add factual context to deceptive content material that’s circulating on-line. Study extra about fact-checking at AP.