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18.10.2019 10:09 News >> Social Media Disinformation Seeks To Mislead Public

Social Media Disinformation Seeks To Mislead Public

Social media accounts share fake images, videos to spread disinformation about Turkey’s anti terror operation in N.Syria.

As Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria neutralized as many as 702 terrorists and pushed to the point where YPG/PKK terrorists start to withdraw from the safe zone, the campaign to smear it on social media had persisted.
"We see that a disinformation operation is ongoing on social media" Deniz Unay, a social media specialist, told Anadolu Agency.
Since the start of Turkey's Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9, many social media accounts shared fake images or pictures taken in past years to spread disinformation about the operation east of the Euphrates River.
Operation Peace Spring aims to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear the area in northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and the YPG, its Syrian offshoot.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Unay stressed that fake accounts and bots are constantly posting thousands of fake photos and videos which were taken in the past at various locations, often hundreds or thousands of miles away from northern Syria.
About 85% of these tweets were posted in English and aim to mislead social media users through disinformation, he added.
An artificial intelligence program found that almost all of these tweets were posted at seemingly random times from various countries, he stressed.
They seek to manipulate people through spreading disinformation, he added.
He urged social media users not to trust everything they see, but to seek out confirmation and check reliable news sources.
"Social media spreads lies and fake news faster than visual and written media," he said.
Stressing that some media outlets effectively became terrorist groups' "spokespeople," he said they deceived people by manipulating events.
He underlined that these outlets could even portray a terrorist group as being "innocent."
"We should explain events as they are and leave the decision to the public," he said, urging media outlets to be impartial.
- Turkey ray of hope for region
On Turkey's previous anti-terror operations in northwestern Syria since 2016 -- Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch -- Unay said they brought freedom, happiness, and hope to Afrin in northwestern Syria.
"There have been significant advances in education, health, agriculture, and industry in Afrin since last year," he said, adding that infrastructure work has also been progressing very fast.
Dozens of schools opened in Afrin and hundreds of students began to get education, he added.
He also said Turkey became a ray of hope for the region, unlike the U.S.
"Has there been any kind of peace since the [2003] U.S. invasion of Iraq? Is there any trust or hope? Only blood and tears rule this land," he stressed.
Iraq has been burning since then, and millions are still dying. The U.S. invasion was justified with lies, and false images and videos, he said.
He charged that some countries stand by terrorists in line with their interests.
In 2003, a coalition led by the U.S. and U.K. invaded Iraq on the pretext that Iraq's former leader Saddam Hussein had biological weapons.
Contrary to the allegations, UN investigators in Iraq did not find any trace of biological weapons. The U.S. and U.K. then invaded without the UN Security Council approval, violating international law.
Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled the violence there to return home.
These operations were conducted under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law and UN Security Council resolutions while being respectful to Syria's territorial integrity.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests. -



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