Twitter Blue accounts fuel Ukraine War misinformation

False and misleading posts about the Ukraine conflict continue to go viral on major social media platforms, as Russia’s invasion of the country extends beyond 500 days.

Some of the most widely shared examples can be found on Twitter, posted by subscribers with a blue tick, who pay for their content to be promoted to other users.

Many misleading posts have been shared online about the recent riots in France, but one viral post last week focused on US military aid to Ukraine.

It featured a screenshot of what appeared to be a headline from a news website, along with an image of two rifles.

“French police are fired upon with American rifles that may have come from Ukraine,” reads the headline.

Several Twitter accounts with Blue subscriptions have shared the post, which has been viewed more than a million times.

BBC Verify has traced it back to pro-Kremlin channels on the Telegram messaging app. The image used in the post appears in a Russian military blog from 2012 about a shooting competition held on a firing range near Moscow.

We have also been unable to find any online articles with the headline and picture as above, and there is no evidence any weapons provided to Ukraine by the US have been used during the recent unrest in France.

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