On September 9, 2019 (date of publishing an article is changed on daily basis) Russian-language website pressa-segodnya.online published an article entitled, "Student Wunderkind from Georgia is Granted a Highest Medical Award of the Country for Discovery the Treatment of Papilloma Virus and Parasites" (Студент-вундеркинд из Грузии получил высшую медицинскую награду страны за открытие способа лечения вируса папиллом и паразитов). The article is about a Georgian student, Levan Gurashvili, who allegedly discovered the unique methods for curing papillomavirus. In the material we read that Levan's discovery at the European Parasitology Congress in the spring of 2019 surprised everyone and became the precursor to many offers. The article is accompanied by a photo depicting Levan Gurashvili, according to the publication.
The article consists of two parts:
The first part is dedicated to the interview with Levan Gurashvili, where the "young scientist" talks about his achievements, though there is no any mention of the name of the medication he created.
In the second part of the article Mariam Kokhreidze, a „well-known Georgian Parasitologist and Doctor of Science“, is the main character, who, according to the article, is a mediator between Levan and the Ministry of Health. Kokhreidze names the drug "Detoxic", which was developed by Levan Gurashvili, according to the article.
The article is followed by comments from satisfied customers. The article also features a button that allows you to order the medication online with a 50% discount.
The article was allegedly disseminated by a clickbait website that is trying to attract readers with a sensational headline and generate money by "clicks" on the site. The 3 photos used in the material are fabricated and steal the identities of other persons: neither “wunderkind” is Levan Gurashvili, nor Maestro TV journalist has any link with Papilloma virus, nor Georgian parasitologist Mariam Kokhreidze is shown on a photo.
Who are wunderkind Levan Gurashvili, Mariam Kokhreidze and how Maestro TV journalist and Papiloma virus are related?
The person shown in the main photo, who is supposed to be Levan Gurashvili, is me - Giorgi Orkodashvili, a graduate of the Myth Detector Lab. The photo posted in the article, was taken on May 12, 2018, after the awards ceremony in my school in Freemont, Nebraska, United States. In a real photo I hold a school diploma, but a suspicious Russian website replaced my diploma with an image of the medication “Detoxic” "discovered by Levan Gurashvili”. In addition, a school-made poster depicting me and allowing identify my personality and the school, was removed from the original photo.
Photo posted in the article:
Other stolen identities
The article also mentions Mariam Kokhreidze, a "Famous Georgian Parasitologist and Doctor of Science". Verification of the photo revealed that the photo actually shows the gynecologist Zarema Murtuzalieva from Moscow. The fact that Zarema Murtuzalieva is a doctor is confirmed by several sources, including meds.ru, rdoctor.ru and med-otzyv.ru.
Photo posted in the article:
The article also includes a photo from one of the TV shows where the anchor is seen - Natia Gogolashvili, a journalist from Maestro TV. In a conversation with Myth Detector, she said that neither Maestro, nor Natia Gogolashvili had ever reported Levan Gurashvili success story and medication curing Papilloma virus.
Trolls in the comments
By the end of the article, Internet users are expressing their satisfaction with “newly discovered” Detoxic. For example, one of the users, Guram Kaviladze, says:
“I got Detoxic. It really had an amazing effect. I feel young and healthy. Eight months after taking the medicine, my immune system has been remarkably improved and I have never been ill since then. I could only dream about it before. I recommend the medication to everyone".
The verification revealed that four users are not real persons and steal other persons' identities. Consequently, these individuals are trolls.
|Sergey Kuzminвконтакте24.рф Account||
What is clickbait?
Clickbait websites with sensational, misleading headlines and visual effects (photo, animation) are catching the user's eye. The more clicks, the greater the audience and the likelihood for the site to generate money. Pressa-segodnya.online - The web site where the article was published does not have a homepage. Clicking on any menu button will redirect you to the detoxic-pro website. In addition to being a clickbait website, it is not secured and belongs to medium-risk websites.
Purpose of the article
By the end of the article, it is clear that the article is an ad of the Detoxic medication, that can be ordered through Detoxic.pro website. According to the website, the seller of the product is LTD. Solaris, located in Moscow. According to Zachestnyibiznes.ru, Solaris Ltd was registered in 2013 and was canceled in 2017. Accordingly, it becomes clear that behind the seemingly harmless success story, along with the false information, the purpose of selling the product is hidden.
Identical articles with other characters
There are many similar articles on Runet, including the article about the medication created by Kazakh student and curing high blood pressure, or anti-diabetic drug developed by a Russian student.
The structure of the above mentioned articles and the web-design are identical.
Article about Kazakh student:
Article about Georgian student:
Interestingly, users who leave comments under the above-mentioned articles have identical photos but use different names. As an example, we offer one of the troll’s comments on all of these three articles:
Comment on an article about a Georgian boy:
Comment on and article about a Kazakh boy:
Comment on an article about a Russian boy:
Myth Detector Lab