Kim Kardashian has waded into the controversial and ethically murky Syrian civil war – issuing a call to her 20 million followers on Twitter to save the ancient Armenian Christian village of Kessab, which was taken over by rebels last month.
However, despite her well-intentioned tweet, the reality television star has been criticized for using the hashtag #SaveKessab – which some have accused of being part of a stealth social media campaign backing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The hashtag has been linked with false claims made by loyalists to Assad, who have said that Syrian rebels desecrated the village’s churches and slaughtered its residents.
Indeed, horrifying images linked to Save Kessab that show a young girl mutilated with a crucifix and a decapitated little girl have been comprehensively debunked – with critics branding them pro-Assad propaganda.
‘If you don’t know what’s going on in Kessab please google it … As an Armenian, I grew up hearing so many painful stories,’ Kim wrote in a March 30 tweet.
‘Please let’s not let history repeat itself!!!!!! Let’s get this trending!!!! #SaveKessa #ArmenianGenocide,’ she wrote.
In doing so, Kim, whose father was of Armenian descent, underscored how Syria’s war, more than any other in history, has been waged on social media, with both supporters of President Bashar Assad and those opposing his rule using selectively chosen videos and photos, sometimes faked, recycled or altered, to support their grievances.