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A Big Lie About A Young Iranian-Canadian Woman

You have probably seen a picture (or meme) similar to the one below circulating around in Iranian channels on social media. Thousands of individuals in Iran and Iranians in Canada, the United States, Europe, and elsewhere shared it. Indeed, it is clear to see why; the granddaughter of a prominent cleric in Iran was a candidate for election in Canada! There’s only one problem – it isn’t true. The whole thing is fake news!

A similar photo of Saman Tabasinejad (left) and Ayatollah Vaez Tabasi (right) has been widely shared over social media with a brief text that says Saman Tabasinejad is Ayatollah Vaez Tabasi's granddaughter and that Saman is a candidate for the Liberal Party in the provincial election in Ontario.

In fact, immediately after this meme circulated, both the candidate herself and the family of the cleric in question released statements denying the claims made in it. The candidate pointed out the fact that her last name, Tabasinejad, wasn’t even similar to the name of the cleric in question, which was Vaez-Tabasi. Furthermore, she shared a picture (shown below) of her actual grandfather.

The real photo of Saman Tabasinejad's grandfather that she shared with a statement on her Facebook page.

Yet, this image continues to make the rounds on social media channels such as Telegram, Facebook, and Instagram by Iranians to this day, being shared by hundreds of individuals a day who seem more willing to engage in the destruction of a young Iranian woman’s reputation than the truth. In fact, the makers of the meme, which seems to have originated in the Amad News Telegram channel, were so sloppy that even a little independent research would show that it was false – not only are the names of the individuals completely different, even Ms. Tabasinejad’s political party is wrong (the meme claims that she ran for the Liberals, whereas she ran for the New Democratic Party in the last provincial election in Ontario).

It's worrisome that many people accepted a ridiculous and defamatory meme shared by a Telegram channel without any credible source or evidence. Iranians both inside and outside of Iran need to re-examine their approach to information they receive on social media. Otherwise fringe groups such as those behind the fake news channel, Amad News, will be able to influence our society and our politics for their own extremist agenda. 

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©2019 by Iranian Canadian Journal (IC Journal)