Social media coming out of Aleppo has gone into overdrive. Well-articulated video pleas alleging near-death snake their way into the mainstream. There’s just one issue: these aren’t just any civilians, but activists and filmmakers – with spots on primetime TV.
A viral video by ‘In the Now’ host Anissa Naouai notes that it barely takes an internet search to quickly verify their identities.The narrative is the same each time: that an all-out genocide is taking place; that the Assad forces are going from city to city killing their own people and taking no prisoners; and that Aleppo’s rebels valiantly look death in the face as they endure alleged Russian bombardment.
‘In the Now’ found there's little to indicate that the people appearing in the mobile videos were actual civilians experiencing the hyped 'Russian and Syrian shelling'.
Rather, these were everything from activists to independent filmmakers who’ve made public commitments to the rebel cause to their thousands of followers on Twitter and elsewhere.@Mr_Alhamdo Your @YouTube message is being aired on @BBCBreaking and other places. The world can never deny the truth of Eastern #Aleppo 💔— Joann (@Mominleftfield) December 12, 2016
Most recently, CNN interviewed one of them, Bilal Abdul Kareem – a documentary filmmaker and journalist who’s had unprecedented access to the rebels in eastern Aleppo, including their new leader Aby Al Abd, whom he interviewed just three days ago.
CNN's @HalaGorani interviews ISIS operative Bilal Abdul Kareem, calls him "independent filmmaker" as he openly expresses support for ISIS! pic.twitter.com/RNsmXusfcZ— Makada 🇺🇸 (@_Makada_) December 15, 2016