World

Misleading claims and photos of Ukraine invasion continue to go viral

Five days into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, false or misleading videos and images about the invasion continue to go viral.

Abby Richards, a disinformation researcher, recently took to TikTok to dispel some fake videos, such as one clip that shows someone running through a house against a dark skyline in the background, Business Insider reported.

The audio suggests a loud explosion and someone yelling, ‘Oh my god’. However, the audio has since been removed. Richards claims the video, which amassed more than six million views in less than a day, is not from recent events unfolding in Ukraine, but that it originated from a 2020 YouTube video of an explosion in Lebanon.

Richards has since gone on to create another video to point out certain misinformation ‘trends’ so that users can be more informed about whether what they are watching is genuine or fake.

NBC’s Ben Collins also took to Twitter to call out a ‘cheapfake’ video of a parachuting soldier which has gained more than 20 million views. Despite being recently uploaded onto TikTok, the very same video was posted in April 2016 on another person’s Instagram account.

Collins stated: “Videos with altered context, like this one, are known as cheapfakes.” Collins has since gone on to warn about TikTok’s ‘lipsyncing functions’ that users have utilised to lift audio from other clips and overdub onto new footage.

Doctored clips have also been posted on sites such as Facebook. One post gained more than 19,000 views; however, it was exposed by Full Fact as featuring a clip from a computer game, alongside two clips dating from before February.

A blurry video claiming to show a Ukrainian girl confronting a Russian soldier has generated 12 million views on TikTok and nearly one million views on Twitter, however it actually shows Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi, who was 11 at the time, confronting an Israeli soldier after her older brother was arrested in 2012. Twitter has labelled the video “out of context”, but it continues to gain views on TikTok.

An image of Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has gone viral on Instagram claiming to show him on the front line. This is an old photo, which first posted by Klitschko to his Instagram account in March 2021, showing him at the Desna training centre in the Chernihiv region. Despite this misleading image, it is true that Klitschko has been active in defending his city alongside Ukrainian troops during the invasion.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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