News outlets have trained staff and trump social media on factual accuracy
Traditional media continues to be a reliable source of information for the public who have grown wary of fake news littering social media.
Paul Glader, an associate professor at the King’s College in New York, pointed out that traditional newsrooms often earn their brand value by their integrity and editorial practices.
“This means they have copy editors or copy desks to verify facts. It means they have seasoned journalists as editors who question and bullet proof big stories, sometimes running such stories by lawyers. It means they apologise for any errors by running corrections,” he said.
Glader said while social media can disseminate news more quickly at times than traditional media, it does not have the accuracy checks and the principle of verification.
One example of this, he said, was during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. He said everyone in the United States had followed the incident via Twitter and many facts emerged before being reported in mainstream news outlets.
Worse, people in the crowd were accused of being the culprits while the real bombers were at large.
“Those identified by the mob were innocent and could have been badly hurt because of the false information,” he said.
Advertising industry veteran Khoo Kar Khoon said the public is bombarded with information over social media with no way of telling if it’s true or not.
Khoo, who is a non-executive director of publishing conglomerate Media Chinese International Ltd, said traditional media are licensed and had to be accountable, adding that journalists had to verify information with authorities.
Verifying information, he said, was important for issues which could impact public health, safety and the economy.
Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur’s (IUKL) Prof Dr Faridah Ibrahim said established media had a responsibility to sieve out the truth.
“Accuracy should not be compromised for speed, facts must be double and triple checked,” said Dr Faridah, the executive dean for IUKL’s Faculty of Arts, Communication and Education.
The Communications and Multimedia Ministry recently advised social media users not to add fuel to fire, following the ongoing diplomatic row with North Korea.
This followed a false claim over Facebook of a massacre of Malaysians in North Korea.
On Tuesday, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) launched fact-checking website sebenarnya.my for the public to both check the authenticity of information.
Assoc Prof Dr Judith Clarke said that very often, information may go viral before anyone bothered to check it.
“They may quickly become accepted knowledge, whether true or not,” said Clarke, who is with Hong Kong Baptist University’s Department of Journalism.
“Some academics are calling for schools to teach news literacy courses to build up the public’s news judgment,” she said.
Readership and circulation of The Star had increased following the assassination of Kim Jong-nam.
The Star Online saw its number of visitors surge to an all-time-high of 7.9 million.
The website also saw 5.7 million new users while the number of followers on its Twitter account surpassed 1.1 million people.
Source: by Neville Spykerman The Star
Government launches ‘Tidak Pasti, Jangan Kongsi’ to stop spread of false information
CYBERJAYA: A fact-checking website, sebenarnya.my,, has been launched to curb the spread of fake news.
The website will allow members of the public to both check the authenticity of a news item or a piece of viral information. It will also submit the information if it is found to be false.
Multimedia and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the website was much needed as many Malaysians had the habit of spreading information without verifying the news.
“They would share certain information and claim that this is dari group sebelah (from another group) and then say minta pencerahan (seeking clarification).
“They should verify first and only share if it’s true,” said Dr Salleh after launching the website at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) auditorium here yesterday.
The website’s tagline is Tidak Pasti, Jangan Kongsi (Do not share if unsure).
Asked if it was set up with the general election in mind, Dr Salleh said: “Not at all. In fact, if opposition members find fake news being spread about them, they can submit it to the website, too.
“The website belongs to all Malaysians. It does not belong to the Government.”
Malaysians, said Dr Salleh, should be discerning enough to tell between real and fake news.
“Spreading fake news will not only cause public confusion but can lead to unrest and cause unnecessary threat to the country’s security.”
MCMC, said Dr Salleh, discovered some 1,000 incidences of fake news that had gone viral on the Internet.
“This is also happening outside Malaysia,” he said.
A check on the sebenarnya.my website showed that there were 155 articles that had been uploaded, debunking various “news items” or social media posts.
The latest is that of a Facebook post about a soldier purportedly injured in a bomb explosion by terrorist groups, which the army later clarified to be a re-enactment during a training camp in Negri Sembilan.
Source: by Joseph Kaos Jr The Star