BBC: Conspiracists on the Internet are trying to convince that there is no war

BBC: Conspiracists on the Internet are trying to convince that there is no war

BBC: Internet conspiracists try to convince that no there is no

Twitter application on a mobile phone – illustrative photo.

Washington – The first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sparked a new wave of fake news on social media. Some posts have received millions of views. In the United States, a number of right-wing accounts with large followings have posted a series of baseless claims that the entire war in Ukraine may be a hoax staged by Western media and governments. Among the users who spread the most viral claims were those who were banned from Twitter in the past, but were allowed back after it was taken over by Elon Musk, the British server BBC pointed out.

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BBC: Internet conspiracists are trying ; to convince that there is no war

BBC: Internet conspiracists try to convince there is no war

BBC: Internet conspiracists try to convince people the war didn't happen

BBC: Internet conspiracists try to convince there is no war

One false claim gaining traction on Twitter and elsewhere suggested that the entire war may have been somehow faked. As evidence, some prominent right-wing accounts reported that footage from the front line was allegedly missing. In the viral post, one commenter complained about the “lack of war footage” and claimed it “reeks of fraud”.

Another Twitter influencer with 1.4 million followers claimed there was “no footage” of the war and “no updated details” of the fighting. The post was shared by former White House security adviser Michael Flynn, who added: “I dare anyone to argue that (the author) is wrong.”

However, the war in Ukraine is well documented. In addition to eyewitness accounts, there is plenty of frontline footage broadcast by the BBC and other stations. The BBC also investigated false claims about some key events in the conflict. There is also evidence from governments and agencies around the world confirming that the war is real. From the very beginning, social networks were full of videos with footage of the fighting, many of which were verified by journalists as genuine.

Two days after the invasion of Russian troops, footage of a high-rise residential building in Kiev with a huge hole after being hit by a rocket went viral. Reporters on the scene described the damage in detail. Recently, pictures of the same house, which has since been repaired and partially renovated, have spread again on social networks. The images led to claims that either the house was never hit, or that the entire war was a hoax, as it would have been impossible to repair the building during an ongoing war.

A right-wing podcast creator and anti-vaccination activist, whose previously deleted Twitter account was recently reinstated, also shared this claim.

But despite regular Russian airstrikes, Kiev has not been a front-line city since the withdrawal of Russian forces at the end of last March from the metropolis and its surroundings to focus on conquering the east of Ukraine. The repair of the block of flats began last May and was reported in detail by the Ukrainian media, which also documented the progress of the reconstruction during the summer and autumn.

A video claiming to show a reporter standing in front of a line of corpses in sacks in Ukraine has garnered millions of views. But one of the bodies is “moving”! And this is taken as “proof” that the corpses were played by hired actors to support the Western narrative about the war in Ukraine. “Stop moving, you're supposed to be dead!” proclaimed a widely shared comment that questioned whether it was a psychological operation to sway public opinion. Other right-wing influencers shared the video with similar comments.

But the video actually comes from Austria's Österreich 24 TV and is about a climate protest that took place in Vienna at the beginning of last February, before the Russian invasion began. Body bag activists wanted to point out the danger of carbon emissions to human life.

This video has even been used repeatedly as a fake. It has already been shared on social media as “proof” of how covid-19 deaths were faked. Then, as now, it was not what it claimed to be.

Viral images and videos, with millions of views, seem to prove the “accidental” revelation of the “secret doppelgänger” of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He is said to have mistakenly appeared on Polish television in the same clothes as President Zelensky during the visit of US President Joe Biden to Kyiv. But the “double” in question is Zelensky's bodyguard Maksym Donec, who, according to Reuters, has been in charge of the president's security since May 2019. His pictures can be easily found on the Internet.