Home World Surge in false information could escalate tensions between Israel and Hamas, warns Reuters.

Surge in false information could escalate tensions between Israel and Hamas, warns Reuters.

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Online Disinformation Fuels Israel-Hamas Conflict

Risk of Inflaming Passions

As the Israel-Hamas war continues, regulators and analysts warn of a surge in online disinformation that could further escalate the conflict. This electronic fog of war threatens to fuel passions on both sides and distort the narrative.

Misinformation in the Spotlight

An explosion at a Gaza hospital, resulting in the death of hundreds of Palestinians, has become the latest focal point for the surge of disinformation. Supporters on both sides aim to strengthen their own narratives and cast doubts on the opposing side’s version of events.

The Challenge of Verifying Information

Addressing the incident, U.S. President Joe Biden acknowledged the challenge of verifying information during the conflict. He highlighted the uncertainty faced by many and the need to overcome these obstacles.

Fake Images and Misrepresentation

Reuters’ fact-checking unit has identified numerous cases of social media posts using fake images and spreading false information about the Israel-Hamas conflict. In some instances, confusion has heightened tensions rather than deliberate disinformation.

Real-World Consequences

Heightened tensions resulting from disinformation can have real-world consequences beyond the conflict zone. France has raised its security alert following an Islamist attack, and Jewish schools in London have closed due to a significant increase in antisemitic incidents.

The Role of Disinformation in Modern Conflicts

In modern conflicts, warring sides have utilized television and the internet to manipulate public opinion. Mixing truth with fiction, they aim to win the war for hearts and minds alongside the battle on the ground.

Regulators on High Alert

Regulators are closely monitoring the situation. The EU’s industry chief has called out major social media platforms for not doing enough to curb disinformation. Efforts to remove content inciting violence associated with Hamas are underway in Israel.

Proliferation of Fake Accounts

Israeli bot-monitoring firm Cyabra has revealed that over 40,000 fake accounts have been pushing pro-Hamas narratives online. This level of sophistication and pre-prepared content is unprecedented for a militant group.

Two Sides, Two Narratives

Both sides in the conflict are involved in spreading falsehoods. Hamas has sent mixed messages, showcasing brutal attacks while also attempting to present a humane image. Anti-Palestinian narratives cast doubt on the authenticity of Palestinian suffering.

Disinformation as a Tool of War

Disinformation serves as a tool of war, aimed at manipulating public opinion and creating confusion. Its impact extends far beyond the conflict zone, with real-world incidents influenced by the dissemination of false information.

Stay Vigilant Against Disinformation

As the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, it is crucial to remain vigilant against the spread of disinformation. By critically evaluating information and seeking reliable sources, we can contribute to a more accurate understanding of this complex situation.