Israel-Hamas conflict: At the top of disinformation in Europe during October

The highest relative percentage of fake news recorded since April 2022 on a single topic in Europe belongs to the Israel-Hamas conflict during October 2023.

In particular, 573 cases of fake stories revolved around it, out of a total of 1,576, i.e. a percentage of almost 36%.

The most recent similar case was that of Russia’s war in Ukraine, where the percentage of related misinformation also reached 43%, in April 2022.

According to the European Digital Media Observatory’s brief, one of the main disinformation narratives on the issue involved fake news designed to justify the actions of Hamas by making allegations about Israeli war crimes (for example the alleged bombing of a church in Gaza or the use of phosphorus bombs).

Other sources of disinformation, however, were also related to attacks on those who called on Israel to respect human rights, accusing them of anti-Semitism, or attacks on those who offered solidarity and aid to Palestinian civilians. In this case the accusation was that they were supporting terrorists.

See here in detail the corresponding EDMO brief.