Irrelevant photos and videos are being spread on X (formerly Twitter) in response to Iran's attack on Israel

On April 1, 2024, Iran launched a large-scale attack on Israel using missiles and suicide drones in retaliation for an airstrike allegedly carried out by Israel on the area around the Iranian Embassy in Syria. As tensions rise in the Middle East, a large amount of fake information is being spread on social media using photos of unrelated incidents and images created using generative AI.

Misleading and manipulated content goes viral in X in Middle East conflict - ISD

According to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), within seven hours of the drone strikes from Iran at Israel, 34 false and misleading articles purporting to depict an ongoing situation, as well as AI-generated images and videos, were posted to Twitter, collectively viewed more than 37 million times.

77% of the accounts spreading falsehoods were verified paid premium accounts aiming to monetize X. In addition, of the 34 accounts confirmed by ISD, only two had been annotated with the Community Notes feature at the time. It was also confirmed that the Iranian government had aired footage of wildfires in Chile on state television, claiming that the damage suffered by Israel was due to an Iranian attack.

Below is a video of what Dubai news media Al Arabiya English points out as 'wildfires in Chile broadcast by Iranian state television as if they were Israeli damage.'

Iran state TV airs Chile fires footage - YouTube

Some have pointed to wildfires in Texas, not Israel.

Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist who works for the British public broadcaster BBC to investigate false information and conspiracy theories, has been correcting false information posted on X.

For example, in the following post, in response to an image claiming that 30 US bases surround Iran, Sardarizadeh said, 'The US does not have military bases in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Turkmenistan.'

Additionally, footage purportedly of an Iranian drone shot down in Iraq was actually footage from Syria, which is unrelated.

In one instance, a video purportedly showing Israelis hiding from an Iranian drone was actually old footage from 2023.

During the Ukraine war, videos from games were circulated as actual battlefield footage, and similarly, videos from the military simulation game 'Arma 3' have been spread in connection with the recent attack on Israel.

In one case, footage of Ramadan-related events in Palestine was used to show Palestinians celebrating Iran's retaliatory attacks on Israel.

In one case, a video that was viewed nearly 5 million times and was purportedly showing Israelis panicking after a missile attack actually showed a gathering of fans of a singer in Argentina.

Other X users besides Sardarizadeh have also posted posts pointing out the spread of false information. X user Arsenios Kecrikoglu said that the footage of the Paris subway was being purportedly taken from Tel Aviv airport in Israel.

ISD points out that many of the accounts spreading disinformation claim to be open source intelligence (OSINT). Sardarizadeh also said, 'I can't stand the amount of BS (bullshit) being posted by 'OSINT accounts' on this platform. It's just a load of garbage posted for engagement.'

in Web Service, Posted by log1l_ks