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Protest Tonight Against Fake Websites Amid Disinformation Campaign Targeting Malta’s News Portals

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NGO Repubblika announced that it will hold a protest in Valletta tonight at 6:30pm against a recent outbreak of spoof articles that are targeting government critics and media outlets reporting on the Yorgen Fenech murder case.

“A number of media houses and NGOs are formally supporting the demonstration of solidarity with journalists and activists,” a Repubblika Facebook post said.

🚨TAL-AĦĦAR ĦIN 🚨Numru ta' mezzi tax-xandir u NGOs qegħdin formalment jappoġġjaw id-dimostrazzjoni ta’ solidarjeta’ ma’…

Posted by Repubblika on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The demonstration will be held following an undemocratic campaign that resembles the media tactics of Russia; a country infamous for the dispersion of disinformation and propaganda.

Several spoof articles have emerged impersonating websites such as Lovin Malta, Newsbook, TVM, StradaRjali and NET, while newsrooms have received fake emails which claimed to have been sent by Manuel Delia.

One of the spoof articles mimicking Lovin Malta claimed that Melvin Theuma, the main suspect in the assassination against journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, had lied under oath.

Another of these parodies, which targeted Manuel Delia, attempted to defend murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, who was recently charged with trying to purchase weapons through the dark net in 2018.

The spoof article claimed that the weapon orders were “spoofed”.

Opposition leader Bernard Grech and Prime Minister Robert Abela have condemned the attacks, with both calling for a stronger fight against cyber crime.

Repubblika president Robert Aquilina held an online discussion two nights ago in which he called this tactical imitation “an attack on our democracy and our freedom of expression and association”.

“We cannot remain silent and I urge people to attend our demonstration on Tuesday.

The media houses and NGOs that will be formally supporting tonight’s protest are: Newsbook, The Malta Independent, Illum, NET News, MaltaToday, SideStreet Malta, 4MALTA, KSU, SOS Malta, Aditus, Aspiring PEN Malta and Malta Women’s Lobby.

Will you be attending to show solidarity with journalists and activists?

READ NEXT: Yorgen Fenech Denies Being Behind Spoof Articles And Disinformation Campaign

Ana’s a university student who loves a heated debate, she’s very passionate about humanitarian issues and justice. In her free time you’ll probably catch her binge watching way too many TV shows or thinking about her next meal.

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