Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Fake Gaza Images Trending on Social Media

BBC reports that pics captioned with the #GazaUnderAttack hashtag are years old, and are of Syria and Iraq

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 8th, 2014 in Business » World

As the situation in Gaza continues to escalate, pro-Palestinians have been taking to Twitter to post photos and information on the ongoing battle between Hamas militants and the IDF.

On Twitter, the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack has become increasingly popular over the last seven days, with over 375,000 tweets using it while retweeting images of victims and burning buildings.

However, a new report from BBC’s BBCTrending, which monitors what’s trending on social media, has discovered that most of the images being used are actually years-old, and are not even of Gaza, but of other countries like Syria and Iraq.

“Graphic images are being shared on social media to show how people have been affected by the renewed tensions between Israel and the Palestinians,” claims the report. “A #BBCtrending investigation has found that many of these images are not from the latest conflict and not even from Gaza. Some date as far back as 2009 and others are from conflicts in Syria and Iraq.”

As much political warfare is waged on social media nowadays, the BBC report certainly questions the hashtag’s credibility and of those who have been using it.

“I have to be honest, I found out recently that one of the images that I retweeted was from Syria and I deleted that image,” said a woman during an interview with BBC. “It’s disappointing that images get shared that quickly. I guess that’s the difference between the internet and credible newspaper publications where pictures are from a source and they’re credited.”

The BBC has since advised that social media enthusiasts do a little research before retweeting inaccurate images.


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