The conflict that has raged for weeks over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh has fuelled the spread of misleading social media content.


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The conflict that has raged for weeks over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh has fuelled the spread of misleading social media content. 1
The conflict that has raged for weeks over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh has fuelled the spread of misleading social media content. 4

Despite a ceasefire agreed at the weekend, the fighting has continued and hundreds have died.

Armenia's prime minister has said there is no diplomatic solution "at this stage" to the Karabakh issue. The enclave is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is under Armenian control.

'Information wars'

We've found re-edited and old video footage wrongly labelled as portraying recent events.

Disinformation in conflicts is not uncommon, where accessing accurate information can prove difficult.

The current clashes in the South Caucasus region are no different, and few journalists have gained access to the frontline, leaving people to rely on government media and footage from mobile phones, as well as rumours that spread unverified on social media.

We've also identified efforts to amplify politicised hashtags and posts.

False missile videos

While the majority of online media being shared is either news reports, official government information or campaign slogans and images, there is also plenty of doctored or old footage.

Some of the most widely-spread content involves dramatic scenes of missile exchanges, which has nothing to do with the current conflict.

Screenshot of false tweet

One video, posted on Twitter, claims to show Iranians watching the 2020 Armenia-Azerbaijan "war" at the border. It has been viewed more than 250,000 times.

However, a reverse image search shows it is actually from a military day event in Russia from November 2019.

People in the video are speaking Russian, and one person is wearing woollen clothing with the word "Russia" written on the back.

The user apologised for posting the video after finding out it wasn't legitimate, but it remains on Twitter.

There's also been footage from the popular military video game Arma 3, wrongly claiming to show the war.


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