Twitter spreading dangerous misinformation about Sudan conflict

2023-04-27 15:54:24
Twitter spreading dangerous misinformation about Sudan conflict

As deadly clashes erupt in Sudan, unrelated or misleading images have been circulating on social media creating panic and confusion over the crisis in the Northeast African nation.

Two pictures in particular have been shared a lot on Twitter and have been attributed to the current fighting in Sudan.

The first one shows a burning bridge while the second one a building that has been attacked and is engulfed in flames.

Although there has been heavy fighting and hundreds of casualties – none of these two pictures are related to the current situation in Sudan.

The images of the bridge and the apartment building were taken in Russia and Ukraine, while the photo of the hotel has been digitally manipulated to add flames.

Separately, a fake account subscribed to Twitter Blue claiming to represent the paramilitary group fighting for control of Sudan has falsely claimed its leader has died in the fighting.

After Elon Musk’s Twitter removed legacy blue ticks, the tweet from the fake @RSFSudann account claiming to represent the Rapid Support Forces does have a verified blue tick, but the actual RSF account, @RSFSudan, does not.

The fake tweet wrongly claimed that RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, otherwise known as Hemedti, had died from injuries sustained in combat.

According to Twitter’s own public metrics, the fake tweet has been viewed 1 million times.

While many of the quote tweets and replies were in response to it being fake, many took the tweet’s false information at face value.

Violence erupted on 15 April after a weeks-long power struggle between two generals who seized power in a coup back in 2021.

The army, under military chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has clashed with the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Burhan's own deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

Both men disagreed over the planned integration of the paramilitary group RSF into Sudan's regular army.

It was a key condition for a final deal aimed at resuming the country’s democratic transition.


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