A fake website posing as Manuel Delia has been set up amid a disinformation campaign against the journalist.
The website, emanueldelia.com, is designed to mimic the portal where Delia publishes his content, carrying “confessions” from Delia and the NGO Repubblika he is affiliated with. It even carries articles that have been published on Delia’s manueldelia.com.
One story on the fake website also carries a confession of Repubblika’s supposed role in a series of fake emails being sent by an individual posing to be the journalist.
Over the last week, Lovin Malta has received several emails from addresses purporting to belong to journalist and civil society activist Manuel Delia. The messages, sent from different email addresses, were received by several of Lovin Malta’s journalists, as well as the newsroom’s email address.
The contents of the emails appear to be intended to embarrass Delia and Azzopardi. Emails received by Lovin Malta took the form of apologies by Delia for his “misconduct over the last months”.
This newsroom has also received emails supposedly from civil society group Repubblika calling for protection for Yorgen Fenech’s lawyers and distancing itself from hate campaigns by “some journalists and lawyers”.
Delia and lawyer Jason Azzopardi have asked the police to investigate.
Speaking to the Times of Malta, Delia said the website was designed to undermine his credibility, raising concerns that some had actually fallen for the spoof website.
“Imagine what screenshots of this sort of thing going around social media will do to my credibility, such as it is. They can make me say anything and my denials would change nothing,” he said.
“Also fake websites that substantially duplicate an original cause both spoof and original to be automatically removed from search engines.”
“I am trying to take this fake spoof site down but that is costing time and money away from my work. And they could start all over again with a new spoof with a slightly different domain name. I’m not sure I can beat this.”
Who do you think is behind the campaign?