Egypt’s transport ministry puts brakes on false Facebook account

A 3D plastic cut-out of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration. (Reuters)
Updated 15 April 2019

Egypt’s transport ministry puts brakes on false Facebook account

  • A weekly round-up of bogus reports and phony facts in the mainstream and social media

1 Phony Facebook account affiliated with minister 

A spokesman for Egypt’s Transport Ministry has denied that its minister has an official Facebook account.

Mohammad Ezz said in a statement that social media accounts attributed to Egyptian minister Kamel al-Wazir are fake. 

Ezz warned that the ministry is not responsible for any news or statements published on these accounts.

He added that legal procedures will be taken against those who manage these accounts.


2 Kuwait rejects claims of not assisting citizens 

The Kuwaiti Embassy in Khartoum has rejected social media claims that it is failing to assist Kuwaiti citizens wanting to return home from Sudan due to the political situation there.

It is reported that social media users have been sharing a voice recording allegedly belonging to a Kuwaiti citizen complaining that the embassy did not fulfill its duties in helping him and a group of other Kuwaitis in Sudan seeking to return home. 

According to the Kuwaiti News Agency, the embassy confirmed its commitment to serve Kuwaiti citizens in Sudan. 

“We have received a phone call from the mentioned Kuwaiti citizens who requested help, and the embassy has expressed its commitment to do so.

“We were surprised to receive a call  from an official at the Saudi Arabian Embassy informing us that Kuwaiti citizens are present at the embassy … The embassy contacted the citizens to find out why they did not go directly to it.” 

Egypt reported to have 4-6m fake news pages

An Egyptian carries a load of newspapers in Cairo, Egypt, in this file photo taken on Dec. 1, 2014. (AP)
Updated 11 min 20 sec ago

Egypt reported to have 4-6m fake news pages

  • ‘The fake accounts ... are usually not owned by Egyptians, but by foreigners’

CAIRO: Egypt is reported to have 4 to 6 million fake news pages on social media accounts, according to Ali Hosni, undersecretary at of the General Directorate of Information and Relations at the Egyptian Interior Ministry.
The fake accounts, made to spread false information, are usually not owned by Egyptians, but by foreigners, he added.
Egypt has faced a flood of false rumors on an almost weekly basis, with claims such as that a newly appointed minister was in fact dead, or that of a girl kidnapped in the Beheira, who turned out to have runaway to avoid taking her exams.
According to a recent global survey, 86 percent of internet users have admitted that they have fallen for fake news online. The survey also showed that Egyptians were the most gullible in terms of fake news.

Prohibitory step
The government passed a law prohibiting fake news in an attempt to control the problem. The law, passed in July 2018, states that social media accounts with over 5,000 followers will be treated as media outlets, and their owners could be subjected to fines or prison for spreading fake news.
Responses to the law were skeptical, as people wondered what defined fake news, while others found the law to be vague. With the global survey’s results, it can be presumed that the 2018 fake news law did not have too much of an impact.
There have been multiple reports of social media accounts masquerading as officials and in Egypt turning out to be fake. One, the page for Education Minister Mahmoud Abo Nasr, had 80,000 Facebook followers on it — his genuine official page had only 55,000 followers.