After a misinformation campaign back in August targeted Malta’s main independent media houses, another spoof Lovin Malta website with fake information was discovered.
Today, the fake website with the name lovin-malta.com was found – mind the dash, which isn’t there on Lovin Malta’s real website.
It seems like the website was registered on 5th September this year, just a week after other spoof websites were created.
The website only directs users to one fake article, published under the name of journalist Johnathan Cilia, stating false claims about Caruana Galizia family lawyer Jason Azzopardi.
It falsely claims that the lawyer had an account at the obscure Pilatus Bank, notorious for its money laundering practices. However, Jason Azzopardi was in fact very vocal about bringing the bank’s officials to justice, stating in April this year that they “put shame to Malta’s reputation by association”.
The article continues to wrongly state that Azzopardi would have received €200,000 from an unknown business man and that he is an avid drug user.
While the real and unknown author of the article clearly put effort into copying Lovin Malta’s original style, posing the question “What do you make of this?” at the end of the article, there are some small details that give away that this is a spoof article.
The headline is in a format that Lovin Malta rarely uses and the cover image is completely unrelated to the story. The fact that the word “euros” is typed out instead of the €-symbol being used does also not conform with Lovin Malta’s style.
These attempts at misinformation are concerning, especially with the upcoming elections getting nearer. It is crucial for a functioning democracy that citizens are correctly informed before they make their voting decision.
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