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It is no secret that internet users have been tackling the problem of an anti-vaccination crowd in the United States, with a lot of articles and memes, to prevent the come back of dangerous diseases spread by the blind trust of fake news.

Nonetheless, the fight against the alleged link between autism and vaccines, that is being emphasized by anti-vaxxers — which was proven several times to be totally false and has never existed — seem to be perpetuating within the news being shared by media companies outside the United States.

While this might sound very positive, Muslim countries are falling behind in their roles of shedding knowledge on the fake news epidemic responsible in raising the numbers of people calling for a total boycott of vaccination, but for different reasons than just autism. …

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Screengrab of Aoun during the graduation ceremony

President Michel Aoun had a weird slip of the tongue during a live televised event, in front of an army officers’ graduating promotion marking the 73rd “Army Day” in Lebanon.

Aoun, who was witnessing on Wednesday army officers taking the oath at the military academy, in Fayadieh, called the graduation promotion “Dawn Of The Apes” — فجر القرود, instead of “Dawn Of The Outskirts” — “فجر الجرود”, where both words might sound a bit similar in arabic, with only one letter in difference.

Outskirts of Arsal

In fact, the expression “Dawn Of The Outskirts”, was the official name of the military operation, in which the Lebanese Army fought militants on the outskirts of a town called Arsal, in eastern Bekaa, in northeast Lebanon, ending last year, a years-long threat posed to neighboring towns and villages by terrorists stationed in a remote corner near Syrian border. …

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In the last 24 hours, a video has gained a lot of attention showing waves of garbage, and until Friday at midnight, the post on a facebook page called “We Love Lebanon” attracted 246000 views, with more than 2000 likes and over 3700 shares.

With all the “effort” that Facebook has been announcing during the last period, and apart from online shaming I usually tend to do it, I wanted to try a new method of tackling false information, a more gentle way.

Yesterday, I publicly pointed out — Like I usually do — to the Mount Lebanon’s prosecutor judge Ghada Aoun, that she shared a misleading image, portraying what it supposed to be a sheikh (Muslim cleric) marrying an underaged girl, whereas in fact, it was a photo taken during a celebration in a kindergarten, in the city of Elazığ, eastern of Turkey, after a bunch of children successfully finished their Quran studies and learnings, as reported by several turkish outlets. …

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On the evening of thursday 5th October, The municipal council of Tripoli, north of Lebanon, voted to change the name of one of its most famous and used roundabout on the northern part of the city.

Nonetheless, a fake facebook post has caused several politicians to start a quarrel, to reflect each one popularity over the other, by defending the city and its residents, while staring away from the real issue which is a false statement attributed to a politician.

The decision of the municipal council orders to change the label from (late syrian president) “Hafez El-Assad roundabout” to the “Takwa (Piety) Roundabout”. …

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A composite image showing one of the false news spread on Whatsapp

While people tend to watch the news on television stations, the interest of instant alert has moved out of official news application and migrated into — individually made — Whatsapp groups, thus falling into lack of real journalism and a pit full of false news.

And while the biggest television stations in Lebanon such as LBC, MTV, AlJadeed, always publicize their mobile applications along with their official websites and social media accounts, people felt much more comfortable into getting their breaking news from the most easiest and the most familiar platform, the Whatsapp instant messaging application.

Meanwhile, the main reason for this transformation of news sources can be attributed to the lack of good mobile app development and user interface, the more reasonable justification for this shift can be accredited to the “good deals” that mobile operators has given to customers in Lebanon, by the choice of subscribing to Whatsapp services for a lower cost than ordinary prices for data package. …

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Over the course of the week, an outlandish image of what it looks like a shampoo advertisement started circulating over social media.

The image showed an asian woman supposedly washing her hair, but this time, without removing her veil, thus not letting the shampoo do its intended job of cleaning the hair.

Tracing the image

Many of social media accounts has shared the same image, either by re-uploading it, or by retweeting it and sharing it.

From those pages, in arabic, a famous satirical facebook page “Dr. Abu El-Baraa”, with a simple caption that reads “A shampoo advertisement in Malaysia”.

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O n the morning of Friday, 7th of April, the U.S. military launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield, in what was described as the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since that country’s civil war began nearly six years ago.

The operation, which the Donald Trump administration authorized in retaliation for a chemical attack killing scores of civilians this week, caused quite a stir on social media, with users dividing their opinions mainly on either celebrating the strikes, or by expressing their rejection of it.

Social Media reactions

And while some people went further on the media to hail Trump’s action, by declaring that they will be naming their newborn sons “Donald”, like what Qusai Zakarya, a Syrian survivor from the 2013 chemical attack told the “Daily Telegraph”; Jad Shahrour, a Lebanese facebook user, published a modified image of a poster handed outside a building in the renowned Sassin square in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, showing the american president on it, with the caption “Sassin (square) now hehe #powerful_trump”. …

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A snapshot of the video being verified, (L) Alan Kurdi.

With all the horrific news that is coming out of Syria from the devastating war, a new video has gone viral, where a person can be seen cutting a cake shaped like a kid, with a caption that read “Russian woman eats a cake shaped like the drowned Syrian child!”.

The video caught my attention first on twitter, then I started to see people sharing it and re-uploading it on facebook, and some news corporations went further, as usual, and wrote reported the video while uploading it as if it was their by adding their logo on it, for example the Egyptian “Dostor” news website. …

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هل تذوقتم عسل خنجر مؤخراً؟ إنه عسل “أخو شرموطة”، نعم هذا هو الشعار الذي رفعه المصنّع على غلاف المرطبان الذي أصبح محط إعجاب وسخرية بالوقت عينه من قبل اللبنانيين وبعض العرب.

صورة المرطبان التي لم يُعرف من كان ناشرها الأول، سرعان ما انتشرت على صفحات وحسابات مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي.

وحازت الصورة على العديد من التعليقات المتنوعة ما بين الساخرة من اللجوء إلى هكذا شعارات للدلالة على الجودة، وبين تعليقات تطالب بمعرفة الأماكن والمحال التي تبيع هذا النوع من العسل.

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Tom Cruise as John Anderton.

Even that it wasn’t called Fact Checking, but the hollywood actor Tom Cruise actually did what most people who are in the fact checking business do, by checking the information he is getting and linking it to the actual world, the real place and time.

In the 2002 science fiction film “Minority report” by director Steven Spielberg, the plot centers around a trio of psychics called “precogs”, who see future images called “previsions” of crimes yet to be committed. These images are processed by “Precrime”, a specialized police department, which apprehends the criminals based on the precogs foreknowledge.

About

Mahmoud Ghazayel

Verificationista, blogger, and journalist, currently working for 24 Media studies in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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