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Social Media Users Bombarded with Propaganda, Fake Videos of Ukraine Invasion

March 1st, 2022 16:11

Inter­na­tion­al media is report­ing how the Russ­ian inva­sion of Ukraine is shap­ing up to be Europe’s first major armed con­flict of the social media age, with users being bom­bard­ed with pro­pa­gan­da and fake news. Accord­ing to an Asso­ci­at­ed Press report:

Feb­ru­ary 25, 2022 The mes­sages, videos and pho­tos fly­ing across Twit­ter, Face­book and Telegram far out­num­ber the airstrikes rain­ing down on Ukraine. They claim to show Russ­ian fight­er jets being shot down or Ukraini­ans dodg­ing for cov­er in their own homes.  Some are real, hor­ri­fy­ing images of this war. Oth­ers had been lurk­ing on the inter­net for years before Rus­sia launched the largest attack on a Euro­pean coun­try since World War II.  The inva­sion of Ukraine is shap­ing up to be Europe’s first major armed con­flict of the social media age, when the small screen of the smart­phone is the dom­i­nant tool of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, car­ry­ing with it the per­il of an instan­ta­neous spread of dan­ger­ous, even dead­ly, dis­in­for­ma­tion.  Tik­Tok videos, pro­pa­gan­dized head­lines and tweets ping­ing out across screens around the world are con­fus­ing mil­lions about the real­i­ty of how this bat­tle is unfold­ing on the ground.  Across Telegram and Twit­ter, Russia’s attack on Ukraine was both “unpro­voked” and “nec­es­sary,” depend­ing on the sender of the message.

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The AP report notes that over the last few days, Putin and Russ­ian media have ramped up false accu­sa­tions that Ukraini­ans are com­mit­ting geno­cide and mis­char­ac­ter­iz­ing the major­i­ty of the country’s pop­u­la­tion as Nazis.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed  yes­ter­day that the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion announced a ban on Russ­ian state-backed media out­lets so they will “no longer be able to spread their lies to jus­ti­fy Putin’s war.”