Qatar’s fake protests: Round 2 (including online smear campaign)
Despite the popularity of a Facebook group proclaiming Qatar would see a revolution today, there have been no demonstrations calling for the fall of the regime here.
But there have been reports of it, apparently on Syrian television channels and what appear to be pro-Assad supporters, as well as critics of Al Jazeera.
The Qatar Revolution Facebook page falsely reports that hundreds have gathered to protest at popular locations around Doha. It also falsely reports that police have tear-gassed and arrested demonstrators.
On Twitter, there are also false reports that Internet and phone communications are down in Qatar, and that Al Jazeera has been overrun by protesters.
The motivation for such fake reports appears to be revenge. One user spreading the news said:
my Source is Addounia TV, not my own words, now you know how fake news can spread and hurt #Syria, especially by Aljazeera
Response in Qatar to the fake reports have been prompt.
True, I’m arrested now, this is fake tweet too, and no internet, lol. @dohanews #fakeprotests #Doha #Qatar
FYI… Ur fake news and protests are harmless.. Fake protest as u like! Pathetic!!
UPDATE: Rumors about protests in Qatar continue to circulate, and continue to be debunked by residents. Below are screengrabs of the alleged protests as reported by Syria’s Addounia TV.
And here is a photo we took this afternoon at Rumaila Park, the site of the alleged epicenter of the police crackdown.
View our Storify report for more of the Twitter conversation. Check back for more updates!