When the 5-year-old boy Rayan was trapped in a well for five days in Morocco a few weeks ago, the Moroccan national television channel had a live feed from the entrance of the tunnel. You could literally watch in real time and see what was going on. That didn’t stop fake news spreading like a virus on social media – descriptions of Rayan’s injuries, photographs of ‘him’ on a stretcher were being circulated before he had even been brought out of the tunnel. One British newspaper of the tabloid variety published a story about him being with his parents in a helicopter on the way to hospital, complete with descriptions of his injuries. The poor little mite had not even been brought out of the tunnel at that time. I wrote a scathing comment on the newspaper article with a link to the live feed, and the story was removed about ten minutes later.
The saddest part is that the Rayan actually died in the well, and his little body was retrieved a few hours later. His last days and hours must have been awful. How alone and cold and scared he must have been. I hope everyone that reported lies was thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Probably not. They would have used the Daily Mail tactic of using the passive tense (‘some media outlets reported yesterday that xxx’) instead of taking responsibility (‘we made up a story that said xxx’). How these do people live with themselves? What on earth would happen in the event of a catastrophic event with fools retweeting rumours for likes?
I really fear for the future of humankind when I read the things below. What causes this? Low quality education? Naiveté? Have these people always been around but not had a platform until the advent of social media? Does no one check facts anymore? I am probably an awful person but I love seeing media outlets, so-called experts, and straight up delusional people getting their comeuppance so publicly. Hopefully it will spur them into checking their facts the next time. Probably not though.