Palestine-based Hamas militants attacked Israel on 7, October 2023 leaving over 1300 dead and several injured. Around 200 people were taken hostage during the attack. The death toll has increased to over 3500, 11 days after the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
Meanwhile, multiple videos are being circulated on social media pages in the name of Israel-Hamas clash. There are videos against Palestine and Israel with false claims. Youturn fact-checked some of them that are extremely viral and can be read here. Still, several other videos are being shared with false claims.
When we checked the number of videos shared against Israel and the ones shared against Palestine, we found that the fake information against Palestine and supporting Israel is far higher than that spread against Israel and supporting Hamas/Palestine.
Most of the fake news shared is against Palestine in support of Israel and shockingly most of the misinformation is shared in India and to be specific, by right-wing supporters and some by media. Let’s review some of the posts that carried misinformation.
A video of people applying makeup that appears to be injury marks is shared to claim that Palestinians act like crying with makeup to blame Israel. But in reality, the video is at least six years old and is of a project carried out by the French charity and doctors of the world with the Gaza Strip makeup artist and her team.
A video is shared to claim that the Las Vegas Sphere lights up with the Israeli flag. However, the Las Vegas sphere has itself clarified and the person who created has also confessed that it’s a work of VFX.
The making scenes of the Palestinian short film ‘Empty Place’ is falsely shared as Hamas concocting videos and some even claimed the same video as Israelis are making fake videos saying that Palestine Freedom Fighters killed children. However, the post that shares false claims against Palestine / Hamas is found to be a devotee of PM Modi as per her X bio.
A fake funeral video from Jordan during COVID times is shared with a false claim that when some Palestinians carry a small boy’s body alleging that the boy fell victim to Israeli airstrikes and when sirens blare, they abruptly leave the body behind and the seemingly lifeless boy suddenly gets up and run.
A right-wing supporter and frequent fake news peddling X account Megh Updates, Times Algebra and other such accounts (here, here and here) shared an old photo of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son to claim that Israel PM is sending his son to serve the country as soldier. Avner Netanyahu joined IDF in 2014 and a photo taken from that time is shared now to mislead people. These posts support Israel.
We covered two fact-checks in an article and both the false claims were shared by accounts that support right. And two of the four claims covered in another article are shared by right-wingers.
When we check the religious affiliation of Israel and Palestine, the majority population is Jews in Israel and Muslims in Palestine. If we see the pattern of these false posts shared, it is either against Palestine or supporting Israel. And most of these are shared by the accounts known for sharing misinformation specifically against Muslims. Some of these accounts include Mr Sinha, Megh Updates and Times Algebra.
Much of the worst forms of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim incitement happen online. A study ‘Islamophobia in the digital age: a study of anti-Muslim tweets’ by the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), Australia in 2022 mentioned that 86% of anti-Muslim posts on X (formerly Twitter) between August 2019 and August 2021 originated in just three places: India, the US and the UK.
Another report on ‘Anti-Muslim Hatred and Discrimination’ by ICV quoted that not just Western countries but Myanmar and India also spread false and malicious rhetoric to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment.