The Syrian government has launched a campaign to combat fake social media pages of Syrian Arab Army units, the Damascus Now news agency reported on March 27, citing sources in the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Division and Republican Guard.
According to the report, the Republican Guard and the 4th Devision don’t have any official facebook pages. The government will reportedly will investigate who is behind fake social media pages
The translation of Damascus Now’s post:
“The 4th Division and the Republican Guard deny having any affiliation with any Facebook pages regardless of its name or ideology and warn from dealing with them and following them. The authorities are investigating the incident and searching for persons that is falsely identifying themselves as representatives of these two military formations and sullying their name. These groups use pictures and videos from the Internet to show credibility of their pages. Official news come only from the Defense Ministry website and the Syrian national media.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian Air Force Intelligence has reportedly released an order banning Syrian soldiers from publishing photos and other info aboout the Syrian Army operations without an approval.
These developments came after the Syrian authorities had found two fake Facebook pages allegedly belonging to the 4th Division and the Republican Guard run by a group of teenagers.
Another notable case is an Arabian Facebook page claiming to be an official page of the Russian Khmeimim Air Base and the Arabic page of the Russian Ministry of Defense. This page have over 50,000 followers and some media agencies even use it as a source of official news. Right now, it is not clear who run the page. However, people contacting it note a poor level of the Russian langauge of the admin. This could mean that this page is another example of restless Syrian teenagers… or could be used for provocations against the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance.
The decision issued by the Syrian government will impact only social media accounts claiming to be official accounts of the Syrian Arab Army and its branches. Meanwhile, it’s still legal to publish and publish news and analysis about the Syrian Arab Army.
Looks like everyone is fighting fake news these days!
Everyone is realizing how effective disinformation can be as a tool