Communication - Presse

Shocking 6,500 deaths ahead of World Cup was anti-Qatar 'disinformation', expert says

Middle East Monitor, October 18, 2022

A report in the Guardian which claimed that 6,500 migrant workers had died in connection with the World Cup in Qatar has been slammed as "the most pervasive and re-occurring pieces of disinformation." A report in the UK newspaper in February 2021 had implied that the shocking number of deaths was connected to the World Cup. Though the actual number of deaths among workers directly linked to construction of World Cup venues is 37, the 6,500-figure splashed across the papers headline became a major source of disinformation on social media, according to Assistant Professor, Marc Owen Jones.

Jones is an expert on social media and the author of 'Digital Authoritarianism in the Middle East'. Debunking the 6,500 figure in a series of tweets, Jones revealed how the shocking rate of death became the most pervasive source of disinformation about the Gulf State. According to Jones, the Guardian article has been the most retweeted article in English about the Qatar World Cup.

 

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