VNA Vice Director General Le Quoc Minh speaks at the meeting (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The 44th Executive Board Meeting of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), hosted by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in Hanoi from April 18-20, has highlighted the important role played by professional journalism in the context of the emergence of social media and challenges posed by it. With the theme “For a professional and innovative journalism”, the event has focused discussion on how to effectively deal with fake news and how to regain public trust with this context in mind. Due to the fast development of social media, the role of journalists is changing. They are no longer the sole source of breaking news and their responsibility has extended to the verification of information being shared amongst the public. They are depended on to validate and analyse information, as well as help the public find what they need to know. According to VNA … [Read more...] about OANA 44: How to deal with fake news in modern journalism?
Spreading news through social media
The smartphone footage shows the two blood-soaked men pleading for their lives. Moments later they were dead, two more victims of lynchings sparked by rumours spread on Facebook and WhatsApp in India. The two men were young and well-educated. Gregarious, dreadlocked musician Nilotpal Das, 29, and his businessman friend Abhijeet Nath, 30, were both from Guwahati, capital of the northeastern state of Assam. On the fateful day last month when they were beaten to death by a crazed village mob wielding bamboo sticks, machetes, and rocks, the friends were driving back from a day in the country, near a popular waterfall. "He liked to listen to the sounds of nature to find inspiration for his music," his grieving father Gopal Chandra Das, 68, told AFP at their home, the television table in the living room now a shrine to his son. Viral rumours about kidnappers, spread through Facebook and WhatsApp, have led to the lynching deaths of some 20 people in the last two months in India, according to … [Read more...] about Death by ‘fake news’: social media-fuelled lynchings shock India
News of well-known people’s death are always an effective clickbait on mass media and social networks. Many famous people, from actor Sylvester Stallone to Vietnamese billionaire Tran Dinh Long, chairman of Hoa Phat Group, have been made victims of these malice jokes. Tran Dinh Long, chairman of Hoa Phat Group, was rumored to be dead. Photo: zing.vn In the morning of May 6 the information of Tran Dinh Long’s death went viral from a securities investment forum. The fake news stirred up investors in Hoa Phat Group as well as connected enterprises. Answering queries and trying to quell concerns, a representative of Hoa Phat Group has just confirmed that Tran Dinh Long is alive and well. “This is a bad rumor,” the representative added. The representative also said that Tran Dinh Long received many calls from family members, friends, and investors after the rumour went out. Fortunately, due to the lack of authenticity in the information as well as the fact … [Read more...] about Clickbait fake death news targets billionaire Tran Dinh Long
Inflammatory stories masquerading as real news pose a particularly toxic threat in Asian countries with long-standing religious and ethnic divides, but promises by some regional leaders to tackle the problem carry equal menace. Borrowing from U.S. President Donald Trump's political playbook, government heads with an authoritarian streak are using the mantra of "fake news" to shield themselves from negative media coverage, and push legislation that critics say is aimed more at stifling dissent than punishing fabrication. The problem they profess to be addressing is a genuine one. Internet penetration is now so extensive - even in the poorest areas - that fake stories dressed up as fact can go viral on social media overnight and reach massive audiences with often dire consequences. In India last year, seven people were killed by a mob after a false story spread on WhatsApp that they were child-traffickers. A number of Asian leaders have tapped into the resulting public concern and … [Read more...] about Asian push to crack down on ‘fake news’ sparks alarm
The U.S. State Department expressed concern on Tuesday at the Malaysian parliament’s approval of a bill that would allow prison terms of up to six years for spreading “fake news” - an expression frequently used by U.S. President Donald Trump. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government secured a simple majority in parliament on Monday to pass the bill, which sets out fines of up to 500,000 ringgit ($123,000) and a maximum six years in jail. The United States is concerned about the bill’s “potential impact on freedom of expression in Malaysia, as well as its global reach, which could impact U.S. citizens and companies,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. The statement said the measure had moved “rapidly through Parliament without meaningful public consultation and debate,” and urged the Malaysian government to consult with the business community and civil society before taking further action on the bill. In … [Read more...] about US State Department concerned by Malaysia’s ‘fake news’ bill