Source: Sputnik Mundo
What it’s about: The article details a speech given by embattled Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega in which he claimed that the Islamic State (commonly known as ISIS) has used its online influence to incite protests and violence in Nicaragua. Ortega is quoted as saying, “It seems like the Islamic State has arrived to Nicaragua through social networks.” In the speech, Ortega also labeled protestors as “terrorists.” The article goes on to give a brief overview of the protests against the Ortega government, which have been ongoing since April 2018.
What’s misleading about it: The article doesn’t contain any falsehoods on the part of Sputnik itself, but we take issue with the way the piece presents Ortega’s claims. The piece opens with Ortega’s statement that ISIS has played a helping hand in organizing the opposition and inciting them to violence against the Ortega government. First, at no point does the article point out that the protests seem to be a legitimate expression of outrage from a broad cross-section of the Nicaraguan populace; there’s no evidence that ISIS has played a hand in organizing the protests. Second, the article gives Ortega a carte blanche to depict protestors as terrorists without explaining why Nicaraguans are protesting the Ortega government in the first place. Independent investigators have blamed 98% of the deaths and injuries in Nicaragua on the Ortega government, and the region’s democracies have widely condemned the crackdown on protestors. At best this is bad journalism. At worst it is intentionally misleading.