Saturday October 21, a strange video in the colors of Le Figaro appeared on X via a pseudonymous account. Lasting a minute and a half, it headlines: “Israeli media publish fake photos to prove Hamas crimes.” She claims that Israel is circulating photos of corpses from a forest fire, making it appear that they are victims of massacres perpetrated by Hamas terrorists. This is fake news.
Logo, color, names of journalists… everything is similar to what the editorial team publishes. This disinformation video is not the first usurpation targeting the newspaper. But its technical execution, and the attention paid to details, is of a professional level.
As of Monday morning, the video has 20,000 views. What to do? Do not say anything? Declare it false, but give it visibility? Warn of its existence without showing it? The journalists in charge of social networks activate the reporting procedure on
At the same time, the editorial team alerts its point of contact at X France. The latter recommends reporting a copyright issue in another form, then adds that he will escalate the request. It’s 12:30 p.m.
Monday afternoon, the video was taken up by numerous accounts: robots, ordinary users, and sometimes activists who use it as an argument of authority. “Even Le Figaro says it!” The fake video has more than 100,000 views. The editorial team then published this message on its official account: “A video, attributed to Le Figaro, which casts doubt on the reality of the crimes committed by Hamas against Israel, is currently circulating using our graphic charter. This video is false and malicious.”
Very quickly, a note added by accredited members of the social network appears under the images: “This video usurps the graphic identity of Le Figaro. The author of this video is not Le Figaro.” One question: how can a social network confirm that a video is fake without removing it? And this while she exposes our reporters on the ground in France and in the Middle East?
Tuesday at 12:18 p.m., more than 24 hours after trading began, X sends us this email. “Hello, we are writing to inform you that we have looked into your allegations of copyright infringement. We have disabled the content you reported on our site.” It's a battle won, but the war will be long. The video, also reported on the Pharos police platform, is still circulating on much less visible accounts. The note added this time by X states: “Manipulated media. Stay up to date with current events.”