Russian Government, Unaware of How YouTube Assigns Dates, Claims Syria Chemical Videos Are Fake

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The graphic videos coming out of Syria this week showing civilians suffering from what appears to be chemical attacks by the Syrian government has shocked the world and opened up another gruesome chapter in the Syrian Civil War.

While the rest of the world condemned the attacks, The New York Times reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry, unaware of how YouTube assigns dates for uploads, claims that the videos are fake and the work of the Syrian rebels. Aleksandr Lukashevich, the ministry spokesman, was referring to some posts made by Hezbollah groups who support the Syrian regime and argued that the disturbing videos were made a day “before the so-called attack” on Wednesday. He added that the videos were intended to provoke Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.

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What Luckashevich doesn’t know is how YouTube assigns dates. Since YouTube is based in California and 10 hours behind Syria, it assigns dates based on the Pacific Time Zone. The videos uploaded in the early morning hours of Wednesday in Syria are published as Tuesday in California and on YouTube.

On his Google+ page, Storify’s Malachy Browne confirmed that the videos uploaded from Syria were from Wednesday morning: “The first video we have seen relating to the massacre was uploaded at 2:50:47am on August 21 local time in Syria. This is approximately 20 minutes after the attacks are reported by eyewitnesses to have happened. The video was uploaded by a YouTube account active in the Erbin area, an uploader Storyful is familiar with and whose videos have been verified in the past. Very quickly, other videos and photos documenting similar scenes were uploaded to YouTube and other social media sites.”

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