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Roundup: Topics That Triggered Misinformation in 2022

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
28th December 2022
Roundup: Topics That Triggered Misinformation in 2022
Misinformation was rampant in 2022 (Getty)

2022 was an eventful year. In fact, many are considering it to be a historical hinge that marks the beginning a new era. As always expected, misinformation and disinformation come hand in hand with major global events and news. 

As 2022 comes to an end, this blog focuses on the main topics that triggered misinformation.


In September, the head of the World Health Organization announced that the end of the pandemic was“in sight.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic eased notably in 2022, misinformation about the virus and the vaccines continued. 

In 2022, Misbar debunked several claims regarding COVID-19. 

While some claims purported that COVID-19 was lab-made, others directly targeted COVID-19vaccines with misinformation. 

The Russian War on Ukraine

It is often said that wars’ first victim is always the truth. Russia’s war on Ukraine is a powerful reminder of the information wars that goes in tandem with military wars. 

Misbar’s team thoroughly worked on debunking misinformation during the war on Ukraine. 

One of the complicated examples of disinformation were the claims that the BuchaMassacre was fake.

Other viral claims were less dangerous in nature, such as the claim that “The Simpsons” predicted the war on Ukraine. 

A lot of misinformation regarding the ongoing conflict relied on the systemic recycling of old photos and videos by recontextualizing them.

Editing images, and the reliance on imposter content also spiked during the war on Ukraine.

The Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II’s death triggered a slew of misinformation. As the U.K. mourned its longest reigning monarch, some took advantage to attract attention by disseminating misinformation.

Misbar’s team dispelled several claims ranging from the circumstances of the queen’s death, to claims alleging that the late queen’s death was predicted by “The Simpsons.”

Climate Change

2022 proved that climate change is now a problem in the present, and no long a future threat. Extreme weather conditions became commonplace. 

Europe experienced extreme heat waves that dried up rivers. Pakistan endured epic monsoons that left as much as one-third of the country submerged under water. 

North African countries such as Algeria faced life-threatening forest wildfires. 

Despite the tangible evidence of climate change, denialism thrived in 2022. 

Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover

Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover caused a significant spike in disinformation on Twitter and other platforms.

Trolls, who wanted to test the validity of Musk’s war on fake content, deliberately shared false information on Twitter. This was in addition to a wave of impersonation that followed Musk’s Blue subscription verification.

The 2022 Protests in Iran 

In 2022, The Islamic Republic of Iran, saw the most significant challenge since they came to power in 1979. 

Massive protests began in September when the morality police in Tehran arrested Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody.

Mahsa Amini’s death has sparked public outrage and months-long protests in several Iranian cities under the slogan "Woman. Life. Freedom." 

Security forces have oppressed protests leading to the arrests and deaths of many. While the exact number of arrests and deaths remains unconfirmed, a mid-October count by BBC reported 45 deaths. In early November, the U.N. reported a figure of at least 277 deaths.

Misinformation surrounding the protests in Iran was spread widely. 

Qatar, the first Arab country to host the FIFA World Cup, has faced an unprecedented campaign of criticism since it was awarded hosting the tournament in 2010. This campaign has had an impact on the proliferation of misinformation before the start of the World Cup.

Misbar’s team worked tirelessly on debunking false claims in order to oppose misinformation as well as the discourse of orientalism that targeted Qatar.

One of the most widely shared claims purported that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was the most expensive in the tournament’s history.

Misbar published a blog that breaks down the $ 220 billion that Qatar spent on projects that are part of its 2030 vision.

Misinformation continued till after the 2022 World Cup concluded. 

Misbar’s Mission 

Misbar has not only been working on debunking misinformation, but also on sharing knowledge to raise awareness about the importance of individual fact-checking. 

In 2022, Misbar published several educational blogs that focus on the importance of approaching news and social media posts with tools of critical thinking and authenticity assessment.