Where did COVID-19 originate? Is Coronavirus really a Chinese virus? It might seem like a simple question, but answering the same can be planned propaganda by an individual, a leader, or even a country. And if you try to search for answers to such questions, facts might get a little fuzzy as you open different links and platforms.
Try it yourself, and you will know what we are really talking about! Every platform and search engine will show you different angles and answers to your question. Well, this is called the world of ‘alternate reality’; the world of ‘alternate facts’; the world of ‘alternate propaganda’.
You might come across many alternate answers and a maze of claims and counter questions, where hoaxes spread as frightening facts on social media, that not only diverts the users from actual reality, but also sparks anger and backlashes from those trying to use the subject as propaganda. Isn’t it how a CONTROVERSY takes place? It creates an environment where not just the users but even the mainstream media is accused of publishing ‘fake news’ on several global matters.
So can anything be done? With news sources claiming falsehood propaganda widely open, how do we really save the truth? How do we save the ACTUAL NEWS? Before we answer that for you, how about we dig what is defined as fake news first.
Fake News can literally mean different things for different societies of people. Defining the core of the word, fake news is those stories that are claimed to be untrue fabricated to serve the stingy purpose of society, an individual, or even a country carrying no base of verifiable facts or sources.
Sometimes, these fake news are really propaganda that is intentionally designed to manipulate society and mislead them, just to create a ‘clickbait’ incentive. Social media plays a major role in circulating such stories as they can be easily shared online with the speed of light.
If you think that ‘fake news’ is simply false stories, well there is more to that. Fake news can be categorised as anything between MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION. You will come across some news stories that might lack facts or sources of the news. Whereas, there will be some with basic verifiable facts but language deliberately infuses inflammation in the community. There is a larger ecosystem of ‘fake news’ between MIS and DIS information.
Misinformation can be categorised as inaccurate information that is created by mistake where the intent is focused on NOT to deceive. For instance, COVID-19 was originated in China. Now, this is simply misinformation as the first few cases of the virus were first officially reported from China.
Disinformation, on the other hand, is a news story that is deliberately created to mislead the users and readers influencing their opinion about the matter. For instance, calling COVID-19 as CHINESE VIRUS. And well, we all know what happened to the former US President after he caught the eyeballs of all major leaders and accused them of false allegations. He was eventually blocked from the microblogging site, Twitter for spreading misleading information on the social platform.
So, now the real question that pops up is how to differentiate between fact and fiction? In a world full of lies and propaganda, how do you find the difference between information and mis/disinformation? The following pointers will help you evaluate a news story and throw them in the right basket of fact or fiction.
Facts and verified source news can be supported by various evidence. For instance, Hope Probe entered Mars’ orbit on 9 February 2021. You might find this news on almost every platform. It is definitely a fact as the official website and social link of Emirates Mars Mission confirmed UAE’s historic moment.
Considering the same story, you might find sources penning the celebration of Hope Probe with fireworks at Burj Al Arab. But did any official source provide evidence of the fireworks? Probably not! That’s when you dumb the story as fiction.
A writer or editor backing a FACT will support the stories with their knowledge in the industry along with unbiased opinion. For instance, researchers publishing their space theory on dark matter. It is considered to be a FACT when backed with historic proofs and data supporting the thesis.
However, a popular novel by an author supporting evidence of a story is pure fiction. The world of imagination has no place in the blanket of factual news.
The moral really being that the story must be supported by a piece of evidence, a reader can make a judgement about the piece based on real data. While some fictional stories just spark the attention as part of propaganda, then they themselves become a news piece after all.
One key category of news that is most twisted according to the convenience is POLITICAL angle. One news can have different angles and meanings for different regions. A leader pointing questions of the validity of a report published by another country, for instance, is pure propaganda. Can you cover it as news? Well, you can only without twisting the facts of the report and quoting ‘opinion of the leader’ with its own source.
It is important to understand that an opinion of a renowned leader in itself is a fact only when stating his/her opinion with a verifiable source.
So finding the slight rust on a needle is definitely a task, but well this is what makes authentic Media Sources as the bulls of the industry.
AlShorts is the first and only English and Hindi news aggregator in the Arab world that offers genuine facts backed by evidence. The core principle of the application is focused on VERIFIED sources and evidence that backs up the story.
So, if you find a news story next time popped up on your mobile screen, and not sure if it’s fact or fiction, AlShorts will be at your rescue. If you find the story on the AlShorts application, the news is definitely a FACT! After all, the core value of the brand is to serve what is RIGHT and what is absolutely FACT.