Fake Posts in the Name of a Popular Georgian News Outlet Disseminated on Facebook

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

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At the end of November 2022, the Facebook page “More Positive” published screenshots of the online outlet Netgazeti/Batumelebi (1,2,3,4). The screenshots have identical visuals as Netgazeti and feature the following headlines: “A girl in Nakhalovka stabbed a thief in law”, “A person who made fake visas for Khashuri was arrested”, “Electricity came instead of water in Rustavi”, “A man in Gldani claims that he is a wolf”. The screenshot, according to which a thief in law was wounded in Nakhalovka, was shared by individual Facebook users as well (1,2).

The screenshots disseminated on the social network are of satirical content, although some of them were perceived by the audience as real information. Information of a similar kind cannot be found on the website of “Netgazeti.”

The screenshots disseminated on social networks are of satirical content, as similar information was not published on the websites and social media pages of “Netgazeti” or “Batumelebi.”

To verify the distribution of the mentioned screenshots, “Myth Detector” contacted the editor of “Netgazeti”, Tazo Kupreishvili, who noted that spreading fake news and fake screenshots in the name of a reliable media outlet is one of the ways to damage the media’s reputation. According to him, in recent days, many readers contacted the publication on the issue of fake screenshots, and there were also cases of offensive appeals.

Tazo Kupreishvili, Editor of Netgazeti: “The first and most important problem is that for a media outlet that works in compliance with standards and has a reputation established over the years, both in Georgia and abroad, spreading fake screenshots and absurd news is a direct way to damage the reputation. […] “Netgazeti” does not spread false information, does not spread manipulation – when one does not find content like that, the other way to damage the reputation is to invent fake news and make fake screenshots and create the impression that “Netgazeti” writes about such issues. Then, when a person sees a fake screenshot that, for example, “A man in Gldani claims to be a wolf” along with the name of “Netgazeti,” it will stick in the mind of the reader that “Netgazeti” writes about absurd things, and will have the same feeling on other serious materials of the publication, asking themselves on that they should trust it. This is image-damaging. The work of a good media relies on its reputation.”

About the Source

The Facebook page “მეტი პოზიტივი ერო/More Positive” was created in 2015 and publishes entertainment content primarily. The page has 250000 likes. According to the page description, it belongs to Guja Lortkipanidze. The description also includes a website link (not operational) and a YouTube channel. The description of the page does not feature the disclaimer that the page publishes satirical content. Hence, the content published on the page may mislead the readers. 


The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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