Over the past week, I’ve noted that fear, concern and propaganda are spreading false information about destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq; ISIS are using fear to drive communities to exile themselves, so that ISIS don’t have to confront, control or (directly) cleanse them. Confusion is making the problem worse. And while mainstream media are reporting the (para)military battles and territorial struggles, much other information is disappearing in the fog of war.
I know that Iraq Crisis (@IraqCrisis), Eleanor Robson (@Eleanor_Robson) and other citizens (for example, those I’ve cited in my posts) are checking rumours. But
(for good reasons, but nonetheless) [for uncontrollable technical reasons,] the information on the Iraq Crisis listserv does not show up in web search results. Christopher Jones is doing occasional news round-ups at the Gates of Nineveh, which are valuable partly because they are round-ups, but they are by nature occasional.
In Ukraine, I know of at least two services – Stop Fake (@StopFakingNews) and Fake Control (@fakecontrol_org) – that are dedicated to (publicly) confirming or challenging claims in news and social media. Are there any such services (in Arabic or other languages) for the Iraqi and Syrian crises?
I’m very happy to host such checks, but I am not an authority on the subject – I can’t even speak Arabic – so I can’t do much more than compare foreign (or machine-translated) reports for consistency and check photos for misappropriation.