Share Mania: Mapping Misinformation and Disinformation in Sudan

This study is part of the Sudan Fact-Check Network project, affiliated with Beam Reports, to fact-check rumors and analyze the disinformation environment in Sudan in light of the swelling phenomenon of the spread of such information in its media space. Hence, Beam Reports initiated an effort to find out why it was carved out and to identify the actors involved in its dissemination, in addition to an attempt to encompass disinformation campaigns in Sudan’s political sphere.

The study addressed rumors and disinformation in the Sudanese digital sphere using reports of Beam Reports’ disinformation observatory; Marsad Beam, along with other media reports that covered disinformation in Sudan.

A methodology was adopted in this study whereby the disinformation campaigns monitored through reports of Marsad Beam were divided, so that each campaign covers a specific stream of disinformation to evaluate its content and to find out why it exists, in addition to monitoring the actors therein.

A number of tools and means utilized by disinformation content publishers were revealed, and it was established that such tools and tactics are confined to the following: images and video clips fabrication, documents fabrication, using outdated media, spreading outdated news, Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) and hashtag spamming.

The study also found that there are interventions by some regional powers in the Sudanese digital sphere, targeting specific political figures and issues relevant to their interests in Sudan.

Moreover, the study revealed the reasons for releasing disinformation, subdividing it into political, security, ideological and personal agendas, as well as reasons related to polishing the image of specific public figures or institutions in what is known as reputation laundering.

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