The Qattar_Affairs account has long been exposed as a pivotal tool in a massive network designed to spread misinformation against the Gulf state of Qatar.
A message on the ‘Qattar Affairs‘ profile on Thursday confirmed that the account was suspended for violating X, formerly Twitter, rules just days after it published a fake report on an alleged threat by Qatar to cut gas supplies to the world in light of escalations in Gaza.
As per X rules, accounts are suspended if used in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behaviour that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on the social media platform.
The rules also stipulate users “may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organisations to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, nor use a fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on X”.
X rules also stipulate that accounts “may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label posts containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.”
While the claims by Qattar Affairs were quickly debunked, disinformation experts have long exposed the account for “masquerading” as a Qatari news source.
“Qattar_affairs is an account used to try and frame Qatar in a negative light. It masquerades as a legitimate news account and the majority of its content is designed to make it look like a standard Qatar news account, but like many disinformation operations, it will occasionally include obvious disinformation,” Marc Owen Jones, an associate professor of Middle East Studies at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar, told Doha News on Thursday.
The expert had already exposed the account back in 2021 and detailed the similarities it had with another account called “Qatar_Affairs”, which was suspended after the 2017 blockade on Qatar.
Earlier, a clandestine operation had been conducted to manipulate Qatar’s public opinion through a suspicious account, which at that time was believed to be linked to the UAE’s propaganda machine.