From: Alice Taylor
Fake Facebook Pages Voice Support for Edi Rama on Live Stream Videos

A large number of fake Facebook profiles have appeared, voicing support for Prime Minister Edi Rama on some of his recent live streams.

On videos of him meeting with ex-Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, Isa Mustafa, and other senior officials large numbers of profiles have commented messages of support.

Comments include the following:

“These meetings show how much our country supports Kosovo in such situations”

“Unity in difficult and good days, we are one and we know how to remain. Congratulations, this is important for our nation and for Kosovo”

“I wish you a good job and good discussions and I believe you are the right person to deal with these issues in terms of our country.”

“I wish these meetings can solve Kosovo’s problems but also for the union of a great Albania.”

Most of the profiles are in fact pages. Pages can be set up from one Facebook profile and there is an unlimited amount that can be assigned to one profile. 

Not only is the fact these are pages suspicious but on further inspection, the photos used are not of the people they purport to be. 

Dorina Dedaj: Image cannot be found anywhere else on the internet, profile set up in April 2019.

Ana Bregu: Image stolen from Western Port Girls, profile set up in October 2019.

Klodi Pisha: Image cannot be found elsewhere on the internet, profile set up in March 2020.

Laert Mata: Image is of someone called James Stark, profile set up in August 2019.

Ali Bregu: Image is of Genci Cakiri, Albanian national tennis champion, profile set up in October 2019.

Besart Sinani: Image is a stock image of a man, profile set up in June 2019.

Ezra Begaj: Image is of an unnamed Albania girl, profile set up in April 2019.

In a previous investigation, Exit revealed how during the run-up to the 30 June elections, a vast number of these pages were set up to comment messages of support for the Socialist Party. They appeared on controversial posts or posts that painted the ruling party in a bad light, appearing to voice support for policies, or to deny scandals.

These profiles/pages had all been set up after February 2019 and used pictures of Sheryl Sandberg, writer Kim LaCapria, and random members of the public with no ties to Albania.

Exit also found that WhatsApp groups set up by Ministry employees were being used to disseminate propaganda that staff were obliged to share on social media. They are also required to tune in to government live streams on social media, even outside of working hours. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action or them losing their job.