Various social media outlets alleged that
Stephanie Williams had met with the director of the #Wagner Group Yevgheni Prigozhin during her latest visit to Moscow. The meeting was immediately denied by the Spokesperson of
What was the basis of the claim ?
The basis of allegations were only pictures of an unidentifiable person wearing a mask, who could or could not be the Wagner chief. There was no evidence of him talking with Ms. Williams either: the man only appeared sitting in the hotel lobby, or entering an elevator.
#Wagner has a track record of disseminating fake news and coordinating disinformation campaigns, including in #Libya. Prigozhin himself is said to be using “doubles” to impersonate him and setting staged pictures, most recently in #Lithuania (see medium.com/dfrlab/russian)
The rumor and leaked picture started from Russian-owned Telegram channels before spreading to Russian media and Libyan pages,some of which are run from #Egypt. In less than 12 hours, it had circulated on over 40 different outlets, despite any evidence supporting the allegation As the political process is seeking for a reset, it is important to not contribute to instability by spreading rumors without any evidence to support them. Fake news have real consequences .