We have noticed that fake news is being spread on social media to support coup rumors in Qatar. A twitter user has described in his post that how a video was fabricated to spread rumors against Qatar. Note @Qtrgov is also not an official account despite the logo and the account name used; it seems to have been created to generate hate.
It appears that the fake news patrol are out in full force just making things up, from creating fake accounts on popular Qatari websites and Facebook pages, to even taking videos out unrelated videos and claiming them to be related to Qatar. We've proven the fakes along with sources below. (We've also put fake/false watermarks in case someone wants to try and share it).
Does the below video look familiar? The video was extracted and shared on social claiming that there were gun shots fired on the 3rd of May 2020 in Qatar. The actual video was from 22nd of April 2018 related to gun shots being fired near a palace in Saudi Arabia. (Source.)
In parallel, a website by the name of weaponews also claimed they received reports of a coup, with no source or validation of the information.
A youtube channel going by the name of Al Watan Live (which appears to be a Bahraini news channel), also claimed that there was gunfire in Qatar due to the start of a coup. This channel seems to have taken the video from the twitter account @Qtrgov which took an unrelated video and then added fake gun shots to the end of it. You can view the fake video here so that you can report it for spreading false information.
Marc Owen Jones, Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies also went on twitter to debunk the fake news being circulated.
[Thread] 1/Incredible, this account is showing a video (put sound on) of gunshots being fired in Qatar to support coup rumours. However, the video was clearly lifted from a Qatari account who opened the window to mock the rumours. The person then dubbed sounds of gunshots on it. https://t.co/asmVHiWAb8— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) May 4, 2020
The video being circulated of a night sky with the sound of gunshots is actually from April 2018, from near a royal palace in Riyadh where heavy gunfire was heard around the sprawling royal palace complex overnight in the Kingdom. Click HERE to watch the original video.
Here is a network analysis of the hashtags, with some explanations about the influential accounts involved in spreading rumors.
12/ Update: Here is a network analysis of the hashtags, with some explanations about the sockpuppets and influential accounts involved: https://t.co/Bj8FcXjkwW— Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) May 4, 2020
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