6M fake social media pages aim at spreading rumors in Egypt: Min. from Ayman's blog

CAIRO – 12 Cairo 2019: Nearly 4-6 million fake accounts and pages on Facebook are aiming at spreading rumors among Egyptians, according to Ali Hosni, undersecretary of the General Directorate of Information and Relations at the Interior Ministry.

Hosni added during a seminar organized by the ministry on the danger rumors pose to the community that those fake accounts that aim at spreading rumors, are mostly not just Egyptians or residents of Egypt, but sometimes they spread rumors through their accounts from other countries.

He referred to two situations that took place during the past period; one of them regarding a girl, who was reportedly kidnapped in Beheira Governorate and it turned out for her to be just escaping her home to avoid high school final exams.

Another famous rumor raised a lot of question during the past period, as it was announced on social media websites that someone was appointed as Egypt’s new transportation minister. Several local media outlets started to use the rumor as fact without rechecking from official sources. The "newly appointed minister" was found out to be a dead man.

Earlier in June, the government refuted all the rumors circulated on social media platforms about the date of the increase in fuel prices in Egypt. Also on June 3, the government issued a statement denying rumors about its alleged intention to sell the Baron Empain Palace, and also the government`s "failure" to face locusts in Luxor and Aswan.

The Cabinet`s Media Center said it contacted the Ministry of Antiquities which denied the news about putting the 108-year old Indian-inspired mansion or any other archaeological building on sale.

Last April, Egypt’s Cabinet denied 10 rumors that spread in one month, according to the statement.

The rumors were:

1) Forcing employees into early retirement to reduce the state’s expenditure.
2) Removing over 172,000 of beneficiaries from “Takaful and Karama” (Solidarity and Dignity) program to minimize the public budget.
3) Ministry of Finance pays the Suez Canal Authority’s debts that amount to 600 million.
4) The dollar’s exchange rate of the fiscal year 2019-2020 will skyrocket to hit L.E 18.
5) Imposing fees on families that have more than two children to raise the public budget.
6) Exporting a huge number of cattle infected by epidemic diseases and unauthorized vaccines.
7) The second year of the secondary stage is just an experimental year and its grades will not be counted to the overall GPA of the students.
8) The Ministry of Awqaf will fire Muezzins and Sheikhs after the success of unifying sermons in mosques.
9) Upon applying the third stage of hepatitis C initiative, fabricated news about throwing medical trash in residential areas such as Mohandeseen have spread.
10) The Ministry of Health set the special number (16010) for emergency, while the only verified number is (137).

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