Loading

The Facebook page, Corridor of Shame, has applied the following method to discredit the opposition – it started to fabricate quotes and represent them as actual statements of opposition leaders. In this case, the targets of the Corridor of Shame’s disinformation were: Givi Targamadze, Zurab Tchiaberashvili, Vano Merabishvili, Eka Beselia, Mikheil Saakashvili, Giga Bokeria, Salome Samadashvili, Gigi Ugulava, Irina Sarishvili and Roman Gotsiridze as well as journalists and civic activists deemed critical of the authorities: Nika Gvaramia, Giga Makarashvili, Salome Barker, Tamar Chergoleishvili and Eliso Kiladze.

FactCheck has identified the Corridor of Shame multiple times as spreading false and manipulative stories. The fake news, circulated by the aforementioned Facebook page, aimed to discredit the opposition in the past, too: false information was disseminated about Shota Dighmelashvili and Giga Makarashvili and a photo of a chat between Shota Dighmelashvili and Mariam Geguchadze was forged. In addition, Netgazeti’s article, entitled “How Much Does it Cost for the Ministers and their Deputies to Educate their Children in a Private School?,” was fabricated as information about the children of the leaders of the opposition parties and false information about Sergey Gavrilov being Elene Khostaria’s lecturer was also circulated.

Analysis

On 9 November 2019, Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili was detained by the occupation authorities of the so-called South Ossetia and on 20 December was sentenced to jail for 21 months. On 28 December 2019, Dr Gaprindashvili was released and returned to the Georgian government-controlled territory. This was the most pressing story at that time and the Corridor of Shame chose this issue precisely as one of the topics of disinformation in December.

Corridor of Shame

“Vazha Gaprindashvili will return all by himself!” – Irina Sarishvili

“Why did you f..k us with that Vazha Gaprindashvili as if we do not know that this, too, was the Georgian Dream’s ugly game” – Nika Gvaramia

“It is unfortunate but still a fact that Kotsis[1]have already recruited the doctor” – Roman Gotsiridze

“Vazha Gaprindashvili was freed thanks to my contacts” – Mikheil Saakashvili

Irina Sarishvili’s statement, “Vazha Gaprindashvili will return all by himself,” posted by the Facebook page, the Corridor of Shame, is distorted. In fact, the real statement reads as follows: “Hey government, do not act in that way to make Vazha Gaprindashvili go back to Tskhinvali all by himself.”

Nika Gvaramia’s statement, “Why did you f..k us with that Vazha Gaprindashvili, as if we do not know that this, too, was the Georgian Dream’s ugly game,” could not be found by the Google search engine for the last month (Vazha Gaprindashvili was released on 28 December). Furthermore, Nika Gvaramia hosted Vazha Gaprindashvili on his talk show , Mtavari Aqtsentebi, and called him a hero.

Mikheil Saakashvili’s statement that Vazha Gaprindashvili was freed thanks to his contacts could not be found by the Google search engine (only the Corridor of Shame’s Facebook post is found) and Mr Saakashvili has not made such a statement in any of his interviews or Facebook live posts since 28 December. In addition, Roman Gotsiridze’s statement, “It is unfortunate but still a fact that Kotsis [1] have already recruited the doctor,” could not be found nor does it appear in any of his interviews after 28 December. The Corridor of Shame does not provide the source of any the aforementioned quotes.

Fabrication of Quotes of Civil Society Representatives

Disinformation circulated about Giga Makarashvili

The Corridor of Shame Facebook page posted two statements of one of the leaders of the Shame movement, Giga Makarashvili:

“The ugly Christmas tree era has to be ended” – Giga Makarashvili

“You cannot be helped by either Christmas or Easter. You forgot God when you elected Bidzina” – Giga Makarashvili

The Corridor of Shame does not provide the source for the aforementioned quotes. In Giga Makarashvili’s interviews, given after December, such a quote could not be found.FactCheckcontacted Mr Makarashvili who stated that those stories were fake. These statements could also not be found by theGoogle search engine.

We see a completely different post on Giga Makarashvili’s Facebook profile in regard to Christmas.

Giga Makarashvili

Merry Christmas to my Orthodox friends!

Let kindness, love and de-occupation be born!

The Corridor of Shame circulated false information about the editor of Tabula, Tamar Chergoleishvili, which was verified by the Myth Detector.

Salome Barker is another civic activist who was targeted by the Corridor of Shame’s disinformation campaign. Similar to the previous cases, the source of information is not indicated here as well whilst such a statement could not be found on Ms Barker’s Facebook profile, in her interviews or by the Google search engine. Salome Barker denies the statement herself.

“Minister of Justice – No, I’ll let Gegucha take that position” – Salome Barker

Fabrication of the Opposition’s Statements

Disinformation circulated about Giga Bokeria

On 24 December 2019, the US Department of State published a statement about Georgia. This letter caused controversy and the Georgian political spectrum long debated whether the letter was supportive or critical of the authorities. In order to mislead the public and discredit the opposition, the Corridor of Shame Facebook page published a picture with the following caption:

“Never mind, the US, too, is wrong sometimes” – says Giga Bokeria about the US Department of State’s statement which emphasises Georgia’s progress in terms of the judiciary.”

On 13 January 2020, the first Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Gia Volski, stated that Mikheil Saakashvili’s interview was an admission of guilt in regard to the attempted coup d’état on 20 June 2019 and the Corridor of Shame posted a second picture with the following caption:

“Saakashvili brought all our attempts to overthrow the government to naught. I do not understand what strategy Gvaramia and Misha pursue. They give testimonies on live TV. Is this normal behaviour? Sooner or later he will have answer for his behaviour and I believe Misha does not have a place in politics anymore” – Giga Bokeria

“Never mind, the US, too, is wrong sometimes” – says Giga Bokeria about the US Department of State’s statement which emphasises Georgia’s progress in terms of the judiciary.”

“Saakashvili brought all our attempts to overthrow the government to naught. I do not understand what strategy Gvaramia and Misha pursue. They give testimonies on live TV. Is this normal behaviour? Sooner or later he will have answer for his behaviour and I believe Misha does not have a place in politics anymore” – Giga Bokeria

The Corridor of Shame does not indicate a source for any of Giga Bokeria’s statements that would prove their authenticity. In addition, after publishing the US Department of State’s statement, Mr Bokeria has not made such a statement in any of his TV interviews. A similar statement could not be found by the Google search engine in the period following the publication of the US Department of State’s letter.

After 13 January 2020, when Mikheil Saakashvili was accused of giving an “admission of guilt”, Giga Bokeria did not state the phrase, as reported by the Corridor of Shame, in his interviews. The statement, which the Corridor of Shame ascribes to Mr Bokeria, could also not be found by the Google search engine.

On 20 February 2020, Vano Merabishvili will leave prison. After disseminating this information through the media, the Corridor of Shame published another piece of false information about Giga Bokeria:

“Merabishvili is a statesman. We are looking forward to seeing Vano and planning our future political strategy. We will try to have Vano in the Parliament because he is a decent man” – Giga Bokeria

In addition, the Corridor of Shame has also circulated Vano Merabishvili’s false “statement:”

“Dear friends! I will soon be with you. Difficult times await but I promise that my being minister and Bokeria being the Prosecutor General, everything will come back to its place. This will be Georgia’s European way to eternity.”

“Merabishvili is a statesman. We are looking forward to seeing Vano and planning our future political strategy. We will try to have Vano in the Parliament because he is a decent man” – Giga Bokeria

“Dear friends! I will soon be with you. Difficult times await but I promise that my being minister and Bokeria being the Prosecutor General, everything will come back to its place. This will be Georgia’s European way to eternity.”

This phrase attributed to Giga Bokeria also could not be found in his interviews or by the Google search engine whilst Mr Bokeria himself denies the aforementioned statement. Vano Merabishvili’s statement was not also circulated from prison and it can only be found on the Corridor of Shame’s Facebook page.

The pictures posted by the Corridor of Shame bear the logo of Georgian National News – GNN.GE. Since the Corridor of Shame does not name sources, FactCheck tried to verify the aforementioned news stories on the Georgian National News website – gnn.ge although no such stories could be found.

A disinformation campaign is also being targeted against another member of the European Georgia – Movement for Freedom, Zurab Tchiaberashvili. The Corridor of Shame ascribed the following statement to him:

“Since Sergeenko is bragging about the hepatitis C elimination programme, someone tell him that this programme was not at all necessary!” – Zurab Tchiaberashvili

Of note is that in the same period, it was reported that GEL 561 million medications for the treatment of hepatitis C had been expired and, therefore, this programme was a matter for discussion. It was at that time that the Corridor of Shame disseminated disinformation about the aforementioned hepatitis C elimination programme.

This statement does not have a source and could not be found through the internet or the media. Zurab Tchiaberashvili himself denies the authenticity of the statement.

Of note is that Zurab Tchiaberashvili is one of the supporters of the hepatitis C elimination programme and he voices criticism in regard to flaws identified in the programme’s implementation progress. For instance: “The failure of the hepatitis C elimination programme is the gravest crime committed against the public” and “I fear voicing my criticism publicly in regard to the hepatitis C elimination program because I do not want to inflict any harm to such an important and necessary programme. However, during the programme’s implementation process, the country has already faced such a big problem that our silence now will further damage our common cause.”

“Since Sergeenko is bragging about the hepatitis C elimination programme, someone tell him that this programme was not at all necessary!” – Zurab Tchiaberashvili

Gigi Ugulava has also become another target of the Corridor of Shame:

“The Patriarchate is a shameful body, staffed with shameful persons” – Gigi Ugulava

This statement does not have a source nor could it be found in any of Gigi Ugulava’s interviews. In his interview with FactCheck, Mr Ugulava denied the authenticity of such a statement. On 15 June 2019, he made a statement in regard to the Patriarchate although it is different from the false quotation published by the Corridor of Shame

“The Patriarchate is a shameful body, staffed with shameful persons” – Gigi Ugulava

Corridor of Shame’s Photo Manipulations

In addition to the publication of photos of different individuals and the fabrication of quotes, the Corridor of Shame, in order to attach more veracity to its information, cut out Facebook posts by Mikheil Saakashvili and Eliso Kiladze and put a fabricated text instead of the original one after processing the photo.

Saakashvili’s post on Bokeria. Misha deleted this post in 3 hours and 11 minutes.

I warn Giga Bokeria. I do have place in politics and he’d better speak normally until I open my mouth wide. Molashvili’s case alone will be enough for him.

According to the Corridor of Shame, Mikheil Saakashvili first published his post, but deleted it later. This caption is made to conceal the fact that there is no such post on Mikheil Saakashvili’s Facebook page.

Mikheil Saakashvili published another post at exactly the same – 13:44 on 13 January 2020:

“Yesterday, my interview with Nika Gvaramia beat Rustavi 2’s mega show where Ivanishvili poured loads of money, almost at the proportion of two to one. This is indicative not only of the fact that the hijacked and raped Rustavi 2 cannot be brought back to life, but first of all this is indicative that the people’s aspiration toward the truth cannot be stopped. You have seen the results of the interactive poll yourselves.”

Furthermore, two comments are shown with the Corridor of Shame’s picture and we can see these two comments, absolutely unaltered, on Mikheil Saakashvili’s Facebook post as well. For both, the Corridor of Shame’s picture and the original Facebook post that the comment has been edited is indicated under the second comment.

The original post has slightly more reactions, comments and shares as compared to the picture posted by the Corridor of Shame. This is because after saving the post’s picture, the original post was further liked, shared and commented.

In addition to the coincidence of the comments on the same post, the fact that the Corridor of Shame fabricated the picture is proven by the coincidence of the comment (Viktor Tsimakouridze: We luv [sic] you mikheil [sic]) in Mikheil Saakashvili’s next Facebook post which can be seen in the respective comments.

Photo Manipulation on Eliso Kiladze’s Post

This woman is a shame of a nation!

Eliso Kiladze’s accusations against the Patriarch!

Eliso Kiladze

According to the information of my source, everything that is written about the Patriarchate is true! The person we call His Holiness is, in fact, the dirtiest in the entire world! I am horrified and I would like everyone to agree that the country does not have His Beatitude but a real prick!The Corridor of Shame used the following post from Eliso Kiladze’s Facebook profile to distort: Eliso Kiladze. 7 January at 12:59.

After the one-week-long Christmas vacation, Lisa analysed:

You – she told me – love winter and being at home, warmth, telephone, writing statuses and Lisa’s photos.#sheknows

George Khizandari: “She cleared up”

The publication date of the two posts – 12:59 on 7 January 2020 – fully coincides with each other. The number of reactions to the fabricated post slightly exceeds the number of reactions to the original post whilst the amount of comments is similar for both posts. In addition, despite being blurred, the first comment of the fabricated post is vaguely visible and it is fully possible to compare it with the first comment of the original post. On top of that, it is also possible to find a similarity in the profile picture of the comment’s author, the length of both the comment and the name of comment’s author as well as a heart “emoji.”


[1] Kotsi is a derogatory term used to describe Georgian Dream supporters. It comes from the first two letters of “Kartuli Otsneba” (=Georgian Dream in Georgian).


Similar News

3280 - Verified Facts
FactCheck Newspaper
27%
True
21%
Mostly True
11%
Half True
9%
Mostly False
7%

Most read