KABUL (Pajhwok): Supporters of presidential candidate and current CEO Abdullah Abdullah have lashed out at campaigners for his main challenger President Ashraf Ghani over using a fake website report that claims ‘Abdulla has received $39 million from Pakistan.’
Late Saturday, a report published on a fake web page ‘New York Times’ was circulated on social media — Twitter and Facebook . The fake report claims CEO Abdullah has received $39 million from Pakistan for his election campaign.
Presidential Advisor and member of State Maker team Shah Hussain Mortazawi wrote on his Facebook page: “If it is proved that one of our presidential candidates has taken money for his campaigns from a neighboring country… what the Law and Sharia says in this regard.”
A number of regional media outlets also posted about the news. Ask News wrote on Facebook: “Abdullah accepted to pay heed to Pakistan’s interests if he wins on the back of this money.”
New Your Times is an American newspaper, which has special pages on social media besides its website.
New York Times website address is: https://www.nytimes.com/
However, the fake website address is: https://nyt.imespolitic.online. If looked carefully, the two links have a huge difference.
After the report about Abdullah went viral on social media, the New Your Times office in Kabul provided clarification about it.
Mujeeb Mashal, NYT reporter in Kabul, tweeted that the web page which has published the report about Abdullah was a fake page named “New York Times” and this fake page has no link with the real NYT. He added that the NYT leadership had been informed about the issue and they would investigate the matter.
Another NYT reporter Devid Zechino, tweeted that this was a fake news and they never published such things.
After the NYT rejected this report, supporters of the Stability and Consultation also denied the report and accused the State Maker team led by President Ghani of using the fake news in its campaign.
The Stability and Consultation team leader, Dr. Abdullah, also rejected the report on his official Facebook account. He wrote: “As our teams strengthen, we are becoming a huge coalition, our rival ticket used this fake website to confuse people.”
The NYT office in Kabul, rejecting the report, vowed to investigate the issue.
Faridon Khwazun, spokesman for Stability and Consultation team, in a post on his Facebook page said: “After realizing the Stability and Consultation has an overwhelming public support, the plotters now resort to every possible attempt no matter forgery or rumors against us.”
Sayed Hashimi, an Afghan diplomat in the US, wrote on his Facebook page: “I monitor the New York Times and I search all its web pages but I could not find something related to Abdullah. NYT is an international media outlet and never posts such things.”
Yama (from Afghanistan), who lives in New York, told Pajhwok Afghan News the article was fake from many factors. “New York Times correct web address starts with: www.nytimes.com. This article is on nyt.imespolitic. Also when you click on the home page, it takes you to a blank page.”
In the fake article, some real New York Times links like the author’s name, are used to give it credibility, he added. “Also when you study the structure of the website, they have created a very similar structure, but you can see many small differences between the real New York Times and the fake page.”
NAI director Mujib Khelwatgar said: “I am going to text the NYT main office about this story, we want to counter this type of fake news circulated thousand times.”
“I read the piece, it seems to be NYT but the way it is presented is not professional. The report is not balanced and lacks Abdullah’s views. Secondly it is based on allegations while NYT does not publish allegations,”.”
Javed Ghafor, spokesman for State Maker team, denied their team was involved in spreading the fake news on social media. He said such things were published during election campaign, but it didn’t mean that State Maker team was hind that. Ghafor said their campaign was underway as per all democratic principles.
Safiq Hamdard, political affairs analyst, said accusing each other during election campaign was common in other countries as well.
He added: “Previously there was a claim that Ghani is Christian and has established a church in the Presidential Palace, but these are electoral accusations which need no clarification.”
Outcome of fact check
Pajhwok Afghan News in a fresh program assesses facts and informs people that a certain news should be placed in which category — good, a little good, not good, a little not good, half good.
According to information about this report, the fake website report about Abdullah Abdullah is incorrect.
Javed Hamim Kakar
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