Why would a Bangladeshi Website Weaponize Misinformation Against Princess Haya?

Published July 9th, 2019 - 12:48 GMT
Ruler of Dubai Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid and his wife Princess Haya (AFP/FilePhoto)
Ruler of Dubai Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid and his wife Princess Haya (AFP/FilePhoto)

There remain many unclear details surrounding the story of Princess Haya's flight to the UK. The British media has confirmed her stay in London after filing a divorce from her husband, Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.


Meanwhile, media coverage of the story has varied after three weeks since the story has broken out. Between a total information blackout in Jordan and the UAE and a noticeable failure to report the story in some prominent outlets in the region, there were some questionable news outlets circulating rumors and what appears to be deliberate misinformation.

One controversial Bangladesh-based magazine has been frantically publishing articles which seem manufactured to discredit the Princess.

Many of the "Weekly Blitz" stories exchange gossip, innuendo and unsubstantiated claims to promote a narrative of the "Princess and her Bodyguard" - perhaps not controversial in the West, such stories are likely to be provocative for readers in the Middle East.

(Screenshot from the Weekly Blitz)

While many questions have surrounded the website and their political agenda, particularly as its controversial publisher identifies as an “anti-radical Islam and pro-Israel journalist”, some social media users wondered if the website is being funded by Dubai’s ruling family to circulate rumors of the runaway princess.

 

 

Princess Haya is not the first member of Sheikh Mohammed’s family to attempt an escape. Earlier last year, the story of the runaway daughter of Sheikh Mohammed was triggered in the media, when Princess Latifa tried to escape the country to start a new life with the help of foreign friends. She was eventually forced to return to Dubai and has since disappeared from public view.

 


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