Najla Elmangoush

Recent unsubstantiated statements attributed to the Foreign minister that originated on Twitter and were then amplified via different media outlets shows how unverified quotes spread through the Libyan information space through uncoordinated activity reaching a much larger audience. False quotes are repeatedly being attributed to the Foreign Minister, the latest one being on her saying that « Turkey seeks to ignite a new war in Libya ».

Here’s how disinformation can spread:

1. The earliest record of content attributing this statement to the Libyan Foreign minister appeared at midnight on 13th of August on user @benniran’s twitter account based in Cairo. This tweet achieved several hundred likes, retweets and quotes on Twitter. However, only a small portion were visible. There seems to be a large number of hidden likes that might be originating from locked accounts.

2. A recently created unverified media page labelled “Elmadar Libya”, with 10 admins based out of Egypt, posted the statement on the same day. Libya Alaan, a channel associated with the former regime, also posted the statement.

3. On Twitter, the Aljamahiria channel, which recently changed their user handles to “Sun Media” to avoid detection by tech platforms online after they had been banned by Facebook, also amplified the unsubstantiated statement.

4. Later that day, other fan pages and influencers copied the statement and amplified it further to their audiences.

Always check your sources, ask yourself who is sharing the information you read, follow the actors and the behaviors, #thinkbeforeyoupost!Najla Elmangoush

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