Misinformation maligns Syrian uprising

Borzou Daragahi writes: Earlier this week the famous-for-being-famous celebrity Kim Kardashian regurgitated Syrian regime disinformation about a rebel massacre of Armenians in the town of Kasab in the country’s northeast on her Twitter feed after it was captured by rebels.

The Tweet – Please let’s not let history repeat itself!!!!!! Let’s get this trending!!!! #SaveKessab #ArmenianGenocide – went viral, further damaging the reputation of Syria’s opposition, a ragtag rebellion struggling to make inroads against Bashar al-Assad, a dictator who continues to massacre hundreds of people daily in bombing raids and inside his dark dungeons. Unlike in Kasab, these murders have been meticulously documented by independent human rights groups and the UN.

Perhaps no other cause in recent history has been more unjustly, and perhaps fatally, maligned than the Syrian uprising. Still haunted by the Iraq war debacle and the failures of the Libyan uprising, many in the west have unwittingly become Mr Assad’s dupes, spreading mischaracterisation after mischaracterisation about the rebellion. [Continue reading…]

@al_7aleem debunks “The #SaveKessab hoax propaganda pandemic”: On Sunday 23rd March, rebels in Syria launched offensive (of which AlNusra, an AlQaeda affiliated group, was but one of many participants) into Latakia province via Idlib and East Latakia (AlAnfal offensive). Among the towns and villages seized from Assad regime troops in the advance, was Kessab and its Turkey border crossing. Three days later the world was hit by the largest viral social media disinformation campaign in history.

A cacophony of hoax images, misused videos, and Syrian State TV reports (including the 80 killed 12 beheaded story, which was then taken and cited by tens of smaller outlets giving the illusion of a large source basin) spread through social media like wildfire. Once again, Assad is pulling the minorities propaganda card.

A “#SaveKessab” trend riled up a global community of expat Armenians, Twitter teenagers, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians viewers; to arms (i.e. iPhone fingers). Catchy propaganda posters with gory images coupled with lent voices from a certain famous celebrity pair of siblings fed fuel to the Twitter fire. Hoax images are mostly being posted first to Instagram with the ArmenianUnity and SaveKessab instagram pages being so far the most notorious for posting misused and hoax images.

The result thousands of wannabe politically-enlightened good-will “activists” (Who have never heard of Kessab in their lives, don’t know where it is, and utterly blissfully ignorant of the Syrian conflict) ravenously retweeting, tweeting and hashtagging the ongoing “Mass murder and genocide of Armenians in Kessab by the Turkish military and AlQaeda, a continuation of the 1915 genocide” – because as per the rules of Twitter, enough retweets can stop a non-existent genocide from happening. Welcome to the internet. [Continue reading…]

@al_7aleem goes on to document how images that have been used in the #SaveKessab campaign have come sources as wildly unconnected to Syria as “Inner Depravity by Remy Couture” — a video made by “a master of special effects horror” which can be found on YouTube and whose content is so twisted that it landed the director on trial in Canada for “moral corruption through propagation of obscene material.”

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