Online news outlet Avas condemned Sunday the circulation of doctored photos of its Twitter and Facebook news notifications.
The photos are made to appear like notifications from Avas and Mihaaru, but with fake headlines attributing damaging statements to joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu,’ such as headlines of the lawmaker saying he would establish relations with Israel and always prioritise former president Mohamed Nasheed over national interest.
“As a result of editing and using Avas material like this, the truth of news published on Avas is lost and we have been receiving constant complaints,” the media organisation said in a statement, disavowing any connection to “such uncivilised actions”.
It urged readers to submit complaints to the 7824880 hotline.
The fake news controversy comes with campaigning for the September 23 presidential election in full swing.
On Monday, the youth wing leader of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party accused pro-government social media accounts of doctoring a video of young people saying they would never vote for President Abdulla Yameen.
The doctored photos appear to be pushed by Yameen supporters.
In one instance last Saturday, a government supporter shared a doctored photo of a Mihaaru news notification. The fake headline has the opposition candidate saying he would dance naked with his spokeswoman.
Our statement with regard to the multiple complaints we have received from our readers over edited versions of our social media posts to misinform the public. pic.twitter.com/JE8zSvJIdE
— avas (@avasmv) August 12, 2018