Início » War in Ukraine, environment and Qatar were the main targets of Fake News in 2022

War in Ukraine, environment and Qatar were the main targets of Fake News in 2022

The war in Ukraine generated the main ‘fakenews’ in 2022, although topics such as climate change or the football World Cup were also the target of misinformation.

The war in Ukraine generated the main ‘fakenews’ in 2022, such as the moving corpses in Bucha, although topics such as climate change or the football World Cup in Qatar were also the target of misinformation.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the information war also began, accompanied by large-scale disinformation campaigns, propaganda and conspiracy theories, launched mainly on social media.

The data collection team of the German public television DW announced today that, in 2022, it analyzed mainly fake news about the war in Ukraine, but also about other topics such as health or the environment.

The NewsGuard team, which for years has been focused on the fight against disinformation, identified 311 ‘sites’ that publish pro-Kremlin ‘fake news’ to justify Russia’s aggression in the neighboring country.

One of the themes related to the war and the target of disinformation were the images of dead civilians in Bucha, near Kiev, which caused shock around the world. Hundreds of bodies were left in the streets after the Russian withdrawal in late March.

While Kiev accused Russia of a “deliberate massacre”, Moscow responded that the images released had been staged, and that the bodies were just actors who even moved. This information spread quickly on social media, and there was even a video that proved the theory.

According to a DW analysis of the video with the alleged “moving corpse”, the impression that the dead man’s hand is moving was created by a drop of water on the windshield of the car that was filmed.

To sustain the invasion, President Vladimir Putin described the need for “denazification” of Ukraine, and many photos and videos circulated on social media that allegedly showed “Ukrainian Nazis”.

This thesis was used as disinformation recently at the World Cup in Qatar, after a video with the logo of the television station Al Jazeera mentioned that three drunk Ukrainians had been arrested in Doha after spreading symbols and giving Nazi salutes. Both the channel and DW’s data verification team proved that the video was fake, either because the footage was archived or the police uniforms did not match the uniforms worn during the event.

On the other hand, the stories about the so-called “Ghost of Kiev”, a pilot who allegedly managed to single-handedly destroy around 40 Russian aircraft and whose identity was a secret, ended up being confirmed as “a legend created by the Ukrainians”.

Among the fake videos and images released, a manipulated image of the mysterious Ukrainian pilot, who turned out to be an Argentine lawyer from Buenos Aires, stood out.

There were also rumors on the Internet that a palliative care clinic in Germany was making tattoos of Vladimir Putin, Serguei Lavrov or other Russian politicians on patients. DW found that the images, similar to reports from this channel, resulted from a set of several old videos that contained grammatical errors or other inconsistencies.

One effect of the war in Ukraine is the energy crisis in Europe, dependent on Russian energy. But the rise in energy prices was used as disinformation, with Russian state television describing, at the end of April, that Europe was returning to the Middle Ages, even neglecting hygiene which was resulting in a problem of parasites. Eight months later, the Russian prognosis has not been confirmed and the Russian warnings are nothing more than propaganda.

Not only did the war feed ‘fake news’, as many users on social networks continue to feed the thesis that “there is no global warming or climate change”.

DW cites extreme weather events, such as the hottest summer in Europe, floods in Pakistan or forest fires in the USA, also recalling the conclusions of the German Climate Consortium that all parts of the climate system — i.e. oceans, ice, land, atmosphere and biosphere — have warmed significantly in recent decades.

In the area of health, the decision earlier this year by the US Supreme Court that the right to abortion is not guaranteed by the Constitution paved the way for the prohibition of this procedure in about half of the States. With this measure, misinformation appeared on social networks, announcing that herbs, such as parsley, or fruits, such as papaya, could be used for women to abort.

DW’s fact-checking team found that almost no studies have investigated this topic sufficiently, and experts have warned that these methods are potentially dangerous.

The Football World Cup in Qatar generated a lot of controversy, due to the treatment of human rights by this country, among other issues, which included paying supporters to travel and follow the selections in the stadiums.

The Qatari authorities denied these accusations in a statement, but several fans interviewed by DW confirmed the offer, explaining that they were part of the ‘Qatar Fan Leader Network’ program.

Contact Us

Generalist media, focusing on the relationship between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

Plataforma Studio


Subscribe Plataforma Newsletter to keep up with everything!