Category: Eye on the media
Do The Guardian editors know they are participating in violence in Syria?
On October 8, 2011, the Guardian published an article entitled: “Syria's protesters turn to Facebook to expose 'citizen spies' ”. In this article, the author speaks highly of what protesters in Syria do to “expose” what they call citizen spies, i.e., publishing their names and contact info on Facebook, so protesters “take care”.
What I believe The Guardian editor does not know is that these lists they are applauding are nothing but assassination lists. Between April and May 2011, the first list of its kind appeared on Facebook under the name “The Syrian Shame List”, followed soon by the infamous “The Syrian Revolution Intelligence Page” (both closed and reopened under different names several times). On the first batch of those accused of being citizen spies was a friend of mine. He was accused of carrying a machine gun in his car and shooting at protesters every chance he got. The funny part is that I know this friend very well, and he couldn’t kill a chicken even if he wanted to.
To test these pages, my colleagues and I fabricated stories about made up personalities, and we made sure to accuse them of big things, such as the personality we created as a doctor spying on his patients and turning them to the security forces. We used pictures of random non-Syrian people from the Internet. Sure enough, our fake stories were published, and the pages condemned our made up doctor and sentenced him to “whatever the people deem necessary”. I guess this shows clearly what kind of reliability these pages have.
On April 25th, such a list appeared on protesters’ pages, accusing a few doctors in Homs National Hospital of killing wounded protesters. Needless to say, these accusations were not true. Two weeks ago, one of the doctors on this list, Dr. Hassan Eid, was assassinated.
I am really hoping the Guardian didn't know all that. But if they did, this would be quite outrageous.