Media Advisory: NewsGuard Issues Detailed Explanation Debunking Claim of Conclusive Evidence Israel Caused the Gaza Hospital Blast
NewsGuard makes available to the media its ‘Misinformation Fingerprint’ entry from its proprietary catalog of false claims, giving reporters access to the debunk and related datapoints
(Nov. 13, 2023—New York) The claim by Hamas authorities that Israel was responsible for the Oct. 17 blast at the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza quickly became a heated point of contention. Anti-Israel demonstrations broke out throughout the Middle East, despite evidence from Israel that the cause was an errant rocket fired by a Palestinian militant group in Gaza. Many news sources reported as fact that the damage was caused by Israel.
NewsGuard analysts have reviewed the evidence offered in numerous subsequent assessments and concluded that there is no completely dispositive evidence demonstrating who was responsible for the blast, but that mounting evidence contradicts definitive claims that Israel was responsible and instead points to a rocket fired at Israel from Gaza. This conclusion is based on reports from the U.S. and other intelligence agencies, independent experts, and visual investigations by multiple news outlets.
NewsGuard is making its “Misinformation Fingerprint” entry on this topic from its proprietary catalog of false claims available to the media. This detailed assessment gives reporters access to the debunking of this claim as well as numerous datapoints usually reserved for NewsGuard licensees, including how the false claim arose and spread, as well as search terms, hashtags and other tools for tracking its spread and for finding all examples of the claim online.
About NewsGuard’s Misinformation Fingerprints
NewsGuard’s Misinformation Fingerprints are used by teams tracking false claims at AI companies, digital platforms, and in the national defense community to stay abreast of falsehoods circulating online. They provide early warnings of attempts to spread these falsehoods and to track and mitigate their circulation. NewsGuard analysts extract and catalog the top false narratives spreading online across topics including health, politics, election integrity, geopolitics, and war. Fingerprints are available in human- and machine-readable formats. Each fingerprint contains a description of the false narrative, variations of the false narrative, a detailed debunk of the false narrative citing authoritative sources, information about the provenance of the false narrative and where and how it spread (hence the “fingerprint”), keywords and hashtags related to the narrative, Boolean search terms designed to find new examples of the narrative while avoiding false positives, examples of content across multiple languages conveying the false claim with excerpts and text snippets capturing precisely how the claim was articulated, a categorization of the level of risk of harm from each narrative and filtering tools based on false-narrative topics and subjects.
Founded by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides transparent tools to counter misinformation for readers, brands, and democracies. Since launching in 2018, its global staff of trained journalists and information specialists has collected, updated, and deployed more than 6.9 million data points on more than 35,000 news and information sources, and cataloged and tracked all of the top false narratives spreading online.
NewsGuard’s analysts, powered by multiple AI tools, operate the trust industry’s largest and most accountable dataset on news. These data are deployed to fine-tune and provide guardrails for generative AI models, enable brands to advertise on quality news sites and avoid propaganda or hoax sites, provide media literacy guidance for individuals, and support democratic governments in countering hostile disinformation operations targeting their citizens.
Among other indicators of the scale of its operations is that NewsGuard’s apolitical and transparent criteria have been applied by its analysts to rate news sources accounting for 95% of online engagement with news across nine countries.