11 maj 2023
Conspiracist Sllamniku claims to know all global secrets
*Prepared by: Ridona Berisha
The conspiracy theory that has circulated since 2022 in the United States of America, and whose claims have been debunked by fact-checkers, has also resurfaced in Kosovar media.
In June 2022, a video circulated on TikTok claiming that President Joe Biden died 4 years ago and his twin is now in command. A TikTok user claiming to be Biden's granddaughter shared a satirical video saying, "President Joe Biden died four years ago, his family wanted to maintain political power in the American government, so we replaced Joe with his twin brother, Beau.”
Information about President Joe Biden shows that not only does he not have a twin brother, but none of his brothers are named that way.
Although he has six grandchildren, none of them are the person declared in the video. President Biden is the oldest of four siblings and has a sister, Valerie, and two brothers, James and Frank. Meanwhile, Beau Biden, the son of President Biden, passed away in 2015.
The video continued to be shared, this time another account wrote, "Naomi Biden? Says Joe Biden died 4 years ago, replaced by a twin." These conspiracy theories were debunked by USA Today.
“We rate FALSE the claim Naomi Biden said her grandfather, Joe Biden, died four years ago and was replaced by his twin. The video was created as satire and does not feature Naomi Biden.” said the American medium.
Despite being debunked more than a year ago by fact-checkers, Kosovar media resurfaced it through local conspiracy theorists, even though it has been labeled as a lie.
On May 1st of this year, conspiracy theorist Arianit Sllamniku stated in a three-minute interview that "Joe Biden is not the real one, he died a long time ago. The real fact is the recent statement of Biden’s granddaughter that Joe Biden died a while ago and his twin is replacing his actions and deeds." This video has been viewed over 60,000 times, has 725 likes, 585 comments, and has been shared 42 times. This is not the first time that conspiracy theorist Arianit Sllamniku has been given a media platform. He is a regular conspiracy theorist on the weekly show "Komplot" on RTV Dukagjini. Whereas Top Channel also operates in a similar way, offering a media platform to conspiracy theorist Alfred Cako. Such media have brought these theories out of the margins by offering them special focus for-profit purposes.
These claims by Sllamniku have also been spread on other media and social networks that have thousands of likes, with the aim of causing confusion in public opinion.
Conspiracy theories usually arise in connection with certain events or situations that are deliberately manipulated by conspiracy theorists with the aim of giving them a negative connotation, without relying on any scientific evidence or reliable sources.
*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation.
11 maj 2023