Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
Saudi owned news network, Al Arabiya announced today that its English Facebook page has been hacked. A statement released on its website read:
Posts on the page surrounding the conflict in Syria have provided our readers with what is believed to be false news on attacks in Syria and deceptive information on Saudi government orders.
The posts included news about clashes between the Free Syria Army and the Syrian regime security forces, which Al Arabiya cannot verify.
The news is being falsely attributed to Al Arabiya sources.
The posts by hackers appear in Arabic on Al Arabiya English Facebook page and have confused our fans who normally expect the latest news on the Middle East in the English language.
Several Arabic and English media outlets have been accused by Syrian authorities of embellishing facts, as well as for a perceived bias in their Syrian coverage. Attacks have been made by the Syrian Electronic Army on Al Jazeera’s website for example, while the coverage has been criticized on national Syrian TV itself, as is seen in this video [Arabic].
In the case of the this most recent hack, however, it would appear to be the complete opposite. Statements and photos posted on the Facebook page in Arabic describe an attack by Syrian authorities in Homs, some of which have been accompanied by images, such as the one below, claimed to have been taken in Damascus.
Statements have also been posted in Arabic about news from Saudi Arabia, including the supposed deaths of tens of anti-regime protesters:
The first posts in Arabic appeared on the Facebook page about four hours ago, with the last one posted just minutes ago, at the time of writing this, as Al Arabiya has clearly been unable to regain control of the page or shut it down.
Judging by most of the comments on the updates, most of Al Arabiya’s followers don’t seem to realize that the page has been hacked.
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