FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Debunking disinformation has become a key part of DVB’s work in support of our goal to provide accurate news to the people of Burma.
The DVB Fact Check team monitors activity on social media where there has been a substantial increase in the amount of disinformation spread as text, images and video. The team’s focus is to react quickly to debunk claims and publish fact-checking items across online platforms. They also compile the weekly Fact Check TV program which is broadcast via satellite to DVB viewers inside Myanmar and streamed on YouTube.
Much of the current disinformation online is directed at the impact of military operations launched by resistance forces in northern Shan state on Oct. 27 which have since spread to other states.
In a recent program, the Fact Check team reported on fake ‘Operation 1027’ pages set up to spread inaccurate reports. Viewers were advised that the Brotherhood Alliance is only uploading news on Operation 1027 to its official Telegram, X and VK social media channels.
“Fake Facebook pages with the names of People’s Defence Forces (PDF) and Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) are common on Facebook. If people report these false pages to Facebook, it will help them be removed so they won’t be able to share misinformation and disinformation to the public,” Fact Check reported.
The program unpicks specific cases of disinformation, providing details about how fake claims are debunked.
“On Nov. 6 a Facebook account named Sittway Thitsar shared photos of what he wrote were dead Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Arakan Army (AA) and PDF fighters with their weapons confiscated by the military.
“When the DVB Fact Check team investigated these Facebook posts, we found out it was false information shared by a fake profile. KIA and PDF carried out attacks on the military in Kawlin Township on Nov. 3. Four days later, on Nov. 6, the National Unity Government (NUG) Ministry of Defense announced the news with photos of victorious resistance forces with the confiscated weapons taken from the military.
“This means that the photos that were used by Sittway Thitsar on Facebook were taken from the NUG Facebook page. DVB Fact Check team recommends checking every news story on social media with the most trusted news agencies. If you can’t verify the information there, then try finding it on the NUG or resistance groups’ social media accounts. Don’t trust unverified Facebook pages or accounts.
“Since Oct. 27, the military has lost control of over 150 military bases and eight armored vehicles in northern Shan State. Pro-military accounts on Facebook continue to share disinformation about the Brotherhood Alliance, so please be careful. Read before you share the story with others on Facebook.”
Fact Check advises people to check reliable news media websites for accurate information and to contact DVB Fact Check directly, via Facebook Messenger, if they come across fake news.