Jan. 18, 2023

Curious case of ‘shot’ Iranian ‘hanging judge’ highlights disinformation

Iran/Politics

The story: The spread of the fake news that controversial Iranian judge Abolqasem Salavati has been shot dead has once again brought the battle of narratives on social media to the fore.

The story spread as Iran implemented two more death sentences over recent anti-establishment protests, fueling some speculations that the report sought to distract from the executions. Other observers allege that the fake rumor was a ruse by the Islamic Republic to discredit news not reported by state-affiliated media.

The coverage: Salavati, who has garnered a reputation for handing out death sentences to dissidents, was alleged to have been shot and killed on Jan. 6.

  • An anonymous account on Twitter seemingly initiated the fake story, claiming that Salavati had been "neutralized by five shots."

  • The original publisher of the story—who has nearly 100,000 followers on Twitter—insisted that the source was "100% reliable" because "the shooter is a friend."

  • The user claimed the next day that...

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فارسیPersian
فارسیPersian
عربيArabic
عربيArabic