A Video Tweeted by Pompeo Was Genuine. His Description of It Was Mistaken.


Once the air raid confirmed the news, foreign politicians went to Twitter to post their reactions. Mr. Pompeo's tweet, which was sent six hours after the murder, appears to be a great success.

Almost 24 hours after the first post of his tweet, he was retweeted more than 53,000 times and re-shared by hundreds of accounts in multiple languages, including the State Department's Farsi Twitter account. The video in the tweet was viewed almost five million times.

According to Crowdtangle, a social analytics tool from, the tweet was liked and shared by Facebook, Twitter and Reddit over 30,000 times. The video was shared on YouTube by individuals and organizations, including RT, Russia's state-sponsored news broadcaster.

"When we think of government communications, it's peacetime diplomacy, wartime propaganda," said Jennifer Grygiel, assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University, studying propaganda and being a state media expert. "Official sources can spread a narrative that they are looking for without context." This collapse is something that President Trump and his supporters have contributed to regularly rejecting fair and factual reporting. Governments, platforms and citizens are now participating in public diplomacy and propaganda.

This places individuals under a duty to be more critical of the source of the information they consume – a need that is often overlooked in times of highly emotional partisans.

Social media users essentially have to create their own investigative reports because of the nature of the algorithm, they need to cross-check and verify the facts, ”said Lisa Kaplan, a start-up called Alethea Group operates to help fight disinformation.


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