Warnings on social media as “manipulated” photos and videos about the conflict between Israel and Gaza are going viral in world news


As violence between Israeli and Palestinian groups intensifies, misinformation regarding both sides spreads on social media.

Twitter has placed a “media manipulation” warning on a tweet from Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that was shared with his 97,000 followers.

The tweet in question contained a 28-second video alleging that Hamas had fired rockets at Israel during the last round of violence – footage he described as evidence of a “war crime”.

However, it has since been found that the video in question is at least two years old.

Mr Gendelman shared the tweet with his 97,000 followers

Mr Gendelman’s tweet, in Arabic and posted on Tuesday morning, said: “Here is clearer evidence that the terrorist militia Hamas is deliberately firing rockets from residential areas in Gaza. This is a terrible war crime.

“A third of the rockets fired at Israel fall in Gaza, killing civilians and children.”

With the words “#Gaza now” in red in English and Arabic, the video captures 17 rockets that are fired one after the other from an area next to the building from which the camera is recording.

Three more missiles are then fired from slightly farther away, followed by another explosion in the same area.

However, the reverse image search of the clip revealed that it was released on YouTube in 2018 – and the description says it was shot in the Syrian city of Daraa. The tweet has since been deleted.

This is a screenshot of the video that was posted on YouTube in 2018.
This is a screenshot of the same video on YouTube in 2018

Twitter has since issued a warning on Mr. Gendelman’s tweet, identifying him as “media manipulation”.

The social media giant’s policy is that this warning will be placed on content when there is reason to believe that “media, or the context in which that media is presented, is being significantly and deceptively altered or tampered with”.

This is a screenshot of the TikTok that Mr Gendelman shared on Twitter.
This is a screenshot of the TikTok video that Mr Gendelman shared on Twitter

Later that day, Mr. Gendelman shared another video – this time from TikTok.

The headline reads: “Hamas is trying, as usual, to mislead the media and public opinion by staging fictional plays, and now it has shown young men alive as if they were corpses, but their efforts are unsuccessful and the bodies move. We reveal the lies of Hamas! “

However, a search for the TikTok account watermarked in the video reveals that this clip was released back in March.

The user profile states that they are based in Nazareth, but there is no obvious evidence of any connection with Hamas.

The account mainly shares videos of the user riding motorcycles and off-road vehicles.

This is a screenshot of a popular post on Facebook.
This is a screenshot of a photo that was shared on Facebook

Fake news is also being spread against Israel.

A controversial Kashmiri cleric shared this photo of a journalist crying in front of the Al-Aqsa mosque.

The violent clashes between police and demonstrators that sparked the latest escalation took place in the mosque.

The photo was posted on the Asian Cup soccer tournament Twitter page in 2019.
The photo was posted on the Asian Cup soccer tournament Twitter page in 2019

However, the picture was taken during the 2019 Asian Cup soccer tournament.

Facebook has flagged the cleric’s post as “false information”.

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