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Putin’s Russia pushing disinformation on Gaza war, says Microsoft chief

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Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Photographer RM/Shutterstock

Russia is at it again. Using social media and other digital platforms to push disinformation, this time about the situation in Israel and Gaza, said Microsoft President Brad Smith at an international peace forum in Paris on Saturday.

Smith said tech giants like Microsoft had gotten pretty good at detecting misinformation campaigns, and can see that Russia is now engaging in one regarding the Israel-Hamas war.

“We are getting very good at identifying a Russian campaign, like when they tried to tell people not to get the Covid vaccine,” he said. “Or today, when we see Russian disinformation in the Middle East.”

The trouble is that when it comes to conflict in Israel, Western society and the mainstream media behave very differently than in other situations, and will take almost everything they see on social media at face value. And that gives bad actors like Russia, Iran and Hamas an opportunity to manipulate the diplomatic picture.

Will Smith’s words resonate and get people to wake up, to realize they can’t believe everything they are seeing or being told? Or will they continue to swallow the lies because those lies fit their preferred narratives regarding Israel?

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