Blog archive: All

  • 21st April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Look up Ian56 on Twitter and the first thing you'll see is a fake photograph. The handsome man in the profile picture isn't Ian56. It's a 38-year-old fashion model called David Gandy. This, plus the fact that Ian56 is a staunch defender of Russia who posts on average 65 tweets a day may have...
  • 20th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday dozens of Twitter users rallied to the defence of "Sarah Abdallah", a mysterious and possibly fictitious social media celebrity, following what they saw as a smear by the BBC. A BBC report had identified the @sahouraxo Twitter account – currently operated under the name "Sarah...
  • 16th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I got into an online discussion yesterday with Charles Shoebridge, an ex-soldier and former police officer who disputes the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. One of the questions he asked was why, if the regime was making chemical weapons in secret, it would give the game away by...
  • 15th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A university-based group is seeking funds for what it claims will be "rigorous academic research and analysis of propaganda". The project sounds academically respectable – it has official recognition from the University of Sheffield in Britain and has enlisted the famous American professor ...
  • 12th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The use of chemical weapons in Syria threatens to wreck one of the most successful examples of international cooperation. Step-by-step work over the years has resulted in at least 80% of the world's known stockpiles of chemical weapons being destroyed, and efforts are continuing to destroy...
  • 3rd April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Not content with securing 97% of the votes in Egypt's presidential "election", the Sisi regime is venting its wrath against local and foreign news media that ventured to criticise the process. On Sunday it was reported that the Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm had been fined LE 150,...
  • 25th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Centre for War and Peace Studies was established in Rome last May "to support experts, academics, researchers, diplomats, governments, and civil society activists in their attempts to help countries in conflict, crisis and transition around the world". It sounded like a worthy if over-...
  • 19th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A group of university professors who claim to be engaged in "rigorous academic analysis" of propaganda during the Syrian conflict have recruited a 9/11 truther to their team. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media studies at New York University, rejects what he calls "the official narrative...
  • 18th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A group of university professors who promoted conspiracy theories about chemical weapons in Syria are now making similar claims about the recent chemical attack in Britain which critically injured Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The "Working Group on Syria, Propaganda...
  • 15th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There's something uncannily familiar about Russia's propaganda antics over the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain. We've seen them before in Syria where Russia has steadfastly defended the Assad regime against accusations of using chemical weapons. On an August morning in...
  • 7th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The roadside signs show a bearded man in Arab head-dress with the words "He is bringing change to Saudi Arabia". Passing drivers, unless they are followers of Middle Eastern politics, may wonder who "he" is, but that doesn't really matter. The adverts seem to have been strategically placed so...
  • 6th March 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The newly-formed "Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media" – which I wrote about last month – has added some further names to its list of members and advisers. The group claims to be promoting "rigorous academic analysis" of propaganda in the Syrian conflict and says it aims to "provide a...

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