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Sunday, April 29, 2018

It's time to stop the false news

Por mayli2017

Ukraine suffered a terrible information crisis in 2014. Manipulative and often totally invented news were spilled from Russian television and from websites to favorable local newspapers, creating chaos and misinforming all citizens, leaving them without knowing what believe.The story told by a Sloviansk refugee of the child who was crucified as Jesus Christ not only deceived many in Ukraine and Russia, but also motivated them to take up arms.

For this reason the Ukrainian journalist Olga Yurkova warns that false news is a threat to democracy and society.A very clear example of this was how the BBC Reality Check team, created with the specific objective of reporting and unveiling false stories and news, confirmed how a series of deceptive images aggravated the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.With the release of photos and videos of conflicts that occurred decades ago, such as the Rwandan war, and that were used as propaganda to accuse the Rohingyas of being violent.

The Rohingya have battled for decades with persecutions in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship.Turkish Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek was one of the people who tweeted those images. Then he offered apologies, but the original post had already been shared more than 1,600 times.For Simsek, getting a real picture of what is happening could take a long time, due to the lack of access by neutral observers in the area, however disinformation campaigns in social networks and the media have caused the attitudes of both sides are recruited.

According to the Ukrainian journalist Olga Yurkova during the inaugural speech of TED 2018, which took place this month in Vancouver, Canada, if a story is too emotional or dramatic, it is probably not real. The truth is usually more boring.The tireless activist against false news and also cofounder of the StopFake site, in her conference stated that fraudulent information is a threat to democracy and society.

According to Yurkova, Ukraine is one of the countries that has been subject to Russian propaganda for four years. However, the phenomenon of false news is happening all over the world. People are not able to distinguish between what is real and what is false, which is why many have stopped believing and that is very dangerous.Yurkova unveiled StopFake in 2014 with the purpose of addressing the problem in Ukraine. Four years later, the group has evolved into a sophisticated fact-checking organization in 11 languages.Ukraine to date has revealed more than 1,000 fallacious stories and has shown more than 10,000 people around the world to recognize when a story is false.It all started with the publication by the Russian state media of an unpleasant event that had great repercussions in the conflict with Ukraine and unfortunately never happened.

The news told the story of Galyna Pyshnyak, a woman who claimed to be a Russian refugee, but Pyshnyak was actually the wife of a pro-Russian militant.The Channel One Russia state channel, on July 12, 2014, in the middle of the recently erupted Donbas war, in eastern Ukraine, announced her as a refugee from Sloviansk that recalls how a small child and the wife of a militiaman were executed in front of her.

According to the woman, the Ukrainian soldiers had publicly sacrificed a three-year-old boy in front of his mother, just as it happened with Jesus, while the little boy shouted, bled and cried. The boy suffered for an hour and a half and then died. Then they went for his mother. And it turned out that the whole story was a lie.And it was not just an invented story, the place did not exist either. Sloviansk refugee claimed that the army cornered local residents in Lenin Square, in the city of Sloviansk itself, but that square does not exist.

Despite all this, the episode managed to spread like wildfire and was reflected in several studies as an example of "disinformation" in modern means of mass communication.According to the journalist Andrew Kramer in an article published by the American newspaper The New York Times in February 2017, this fact constituted for Russia, a good piece of propaganda.