New Year holidays are already gone. And although notable events are largely unusual during the holidays, there are some remarkable cases of spreading fake news in the Armenian media.
On January 4, a rumor was circulated that classes in secondary schools will resume on January 25 (instead of the planned January 8) due to acute respiratory diseases. The source of disinformation was the click-hunter imhayastan.pro website. This information was denied by the Minister of Education and Science Araik Harutyunyan on his Facebook page. The Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan also denied the news and added that the situation in terms of acute respiratory infections and flu is under control.
On January 6, information appeared on social networks according to which a French-Armenian young gay man was allegedly beaten in Artsakh. Armtimes news website wrote about it but shortly after removed the disinformation from its website. And hraparak.am, which also made such a publication, edited it, including the comment by Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Artak Beglaryan. The latter, in particular, noted that the news was spread on fake Facebook pages without mentioning any source. And the photo of the “French-Armenian young man” was actually taken from the article published in British PinkNews website in 2016.
A tragic incident that occurred in the city of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, when a 23-year-old young man was killed as a result of a brawl on New Year’s Eve led to a wave of disinformation. Two Armenians were detained on suspicion of committing a grave crime, after which numerous Azerbaijani fake users were involved in sowing ethnic hatred in the Russian VKontakte social network. to. The Karaganda provincial prosecutor’s office even filed a criminal case against one user.
Azerbaijani news websites also worked in that direction. In particular, Vzglyad.az announced about “Armenian atrocities” on January 4. The 1news.az website, in its turn, reported that the demonstration in Karaganda was against the “fury of Armenians”, while the demonstrators simply demanded to provide information on the case. Novosti.az also made a ridiculous statement that Armenians in Kazakhstan created a “nest of separatists”.