Discrediting and propaganda messages spread on Facebook November 10-17
Messages against the United National Movement emphasizing the ongoing controversy in the party, mocking Levan Khabeishvili after his chairmanship candidacy nomination
On November 9, the members of the United National Movement demanded the re-election of the chairman, political council and secretariat of the party. The chairman of the party, Nika Melia, expressed his readiness to participate in the elections. At first, Levan Khabeishvili stated that he did not plan to participate in the elections, however, at the briefing held on November 16, he put forward his own candidacy for the chairmanship. Along with them, Giorgi Chaladze and Giorgi Mumladze put forward their candidacy, however, after Khabeishvili's briefing, Chaladze said that he was no longer planning to participate in the elections. A seven-member working team was created in the United National Movement, which agreed to conduct the chairmanship election online.
According to the leaders of the Georgian Dream, there is a struggle for internal power in the United National Movement. Some of them added that Davit Kezerashvili is financing Nika Melia’s rival, Kezerashvili's favorites being Khabeishvili, Merabishvili and Tsiskarishvili.
Similar messages were repeated on anonymous anti-opposition pages and pro-government media outlets. Anonymous pages started posting memes in which the rivalry between the members of the UNM - Nika Melia and Levan Khabeishvili - was indicated. Davit Kezerashvili, Vano Merabishvili and the Akhalaia brothers also appeared in the posts. Defamatory posts of Giorgi Chaladze and Giorgi Mumladze were also published after their chairmanship nomination. POSTV made stories relating to the topic called Clan Conflict in the Natsis and War in the Party of War. According to a media outlet, former high-ranking officials are fighting for influence in the party and that "Davit Kezerashvili and Koba Nakopia want to buy the party".
Anonymous pages started ridiculing Levan Khabeishvili after he put forward his candidacy. In particular, the pages appealed to the change of Khabeishvili's position regarding the elections. The pages also ridiculed Khabeishvili for his statement that the United National Movement is an intellectual forge. Videos were published on anonymous pages, which showed the change in Khabeishvili's attitude towards Davit Kezerashvili.
Photo 1 – “Two poles formed to divide the party”. Photo 2 – “I am not going to participate in the party election” – Levan Khabeishvili; Levan Khabeishvili put forward his own candidacy for the UNM chairmanship.
Manipulative messages related to the US midterm elections, reference to polarization and election violations
Mid-term elections of the Congress were held in the USA on November 8th. On November 13, Irakli Zarkua, a representative of the ruling team made a manipulative statement on Imedi TV. He expressed concern about the election of a deceased person (Antony DeLuca) and called on the partner country to implement the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR.
NetGazeti published an article explaining why a deceased candidate was elected in the USA. In the state of Pennsylvania 85% of the votes were received by the Democratic candidate Tony DeLuca, who died on October 9th, his candidacy couldn’t be changed in time within state laws. The article published by NetGazeti mentions that this type of case is not new to the USA and does not contain signs of violation or rigging, that is why the case was not reflected in the OSCE report.
A page managed by the Georgian Dream – SinamdvileshiGD (სინამდვილეში) accused NetGazeti of spreading disinformation due to the published article and noted that Zarkua had only stated the facts. Director Goga Khaindrava also responded to the deceased candidate’s election. POSTV's news page ran an article titled "Dead Democratic Candidate Elected in state of Pennsylvania," although the article noted that it was too late to replace the candidate.
Pro-government experts spread the narrative that the OSCE had a rather critical conclusion on the US election, noting that the election campaign was polarized. Experts equated the conclusion about the USA with the problem of depolarization in Georgia. They appealed to the US ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, to urge the US authorities to correct all aforementioned problems.
Photo 1 – “A deceased Democratic candidate was elected in the state of Pennsylvania – reported by the Guardian. Based on the report Tony DeLuca, who died this past month, received 85 percent of votes”. Photo 2 - advise Ambassador Degnan to say instead of Georgian political leaders – It’s sad to see the polarization of the political environment in the USA”.
The accusation against Salome Samadashvili in anti-European propaganda due to the statement made about Olivér Várhelyi
A page managed by the Georgian Dream – SinamdvileshiGD (სინამდვილეში) accused Salome Samadashvili of anti-European propaganda. In particular, Samadashvili noted that the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, who was visiting Georgia on November 15, is nominated by Orbani's party and is somewhat limited in his mandate. Várhelyi positively evaluated the economic progress and the steps taken regarding the implementation of the 12 points of the European Union, the reform of the judicial system and the fight against corruption. He also stated that the criterion for evaluating an oligarch is general and never related to any person, therefore the existence of a legal framework is necessary.
Samadashvili was also accused of anti-European propaganda on the anonymous pages operating against the opposition and on the POSTV - Analytics page. Anonymous pages published a video in which a Mtavari TV journalist asks the European Commissioner a question about political prisoners, and Várhelyi notes that he does not have enough information about the country's internal politics.
Pro-government experts spread positive messages about Olivér Várhelyi. They linked certain MEPs, including Andrew Kubilius, to the United National Movement and said that instead of them, the public should listen to Várhelyi, who positively evaluates the judiciary, the economy and other areas. Experts drew attention to the question asked by Mtavari TV regarding political prisoners and noted that there is no political justice in Georgia, and that Várhelyi also confirms this.
Photo 1 - Anti-European propaganda – “Oliver Varhey was nominated to the European Commission by Orbán's party, somewhat limited in his mandate, and the reality today is that Orbán is Putin's main ally”.
Attempt to discredit Davit Kezerashvili and the United States of America through the photo taken during the meeting with Kurt Volker
Information was spread on the Facebook pages of POSTV, which was based on the media publication Kvira. According to them, the picture was provided by a German investigative journalist and shows the meeting of Davit Kezerashvili with Kurt Volker on July 7, 2022 in London, who is the former director of European and Eurasian affairs of the US Security Council and the former ambassador to NATO. Later, the statements of pro-government experts were spread on TV and false media pages, POSTV prepared a story on the same topic, which included the comments of the ruling team and representatives of People's Power regarding the conspiratorial meeting. Some experts presented the mentioned meeting as evidence that "Americans are behind the processes led by the radical opposition". They were developing the idea that Volker would share the messages of his superiors with Kezerashvili. In addition, they attacked the Georgian wife of the American diplomat and pointed to their close relationship with the TV host Eka Kvesitadze.
A photo of the meeting between Davit Kezerashvili and businessman Vano Nakaidze was also circulated in the pro-government media. Pro-government experts accused Kezerashvili of bringing in a ship with sanctioned cargo from Russia by the hand of Nakaidze, which was voiced by Khoshtaria and Formula TV spread the evidence that Georgia helps Russia to avoid sanctions. Experts called Elene Khoshtaria, Kezerashvili and others the conduits of Russian interests in Georgia.
Photo 1 – Kezerashvili hosted Volker on July 7th in a London restaurant. Photo 2 - Americans are behind all processes conducted by the radical opposition in Georgia. The last piece of evidence is the scandalous photo showing Kurt Volker with oligarch Davit Kezerashvili.
About the Weekly Review
Within the social media monitoring program, ISFED presents the weekly overview and description of messages that echo political issues, (more or less) virally circulates on social networks during the week, and involves more than one actor, account or page in its dissemination . In certain cases, the most interactive posts of the week are presented.
For data processing, the organization uses the Facebook monitoring tool CrowdTangle and relies on the existing updated database of pages/accounts involved in discrediting campaigns.
The pages are available on the platform - www.disinfoobserver.ge
 "A dead man was elected" - Zarkua's manipulative statement on the US elections, Netgazeti, 2022 https://netgazeti.ge/life/640557/?fbclid=IwAR2e5urPyAPiyaNDGv2eLTaCXTe4kUCaqXTjSU9_fDTcT2xmQ712tgQvF2Q