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Malaysians thinking twice before sharing potentially fake news

People say they are more careful than they used to be when re-posting on social media with the possibility of spreading fake information and scams and after a fake tiger tale which made the rounds this week

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 March, 2018, 3:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 March, 2018, 3:46pm

By Manjit Kaur

On Tuesday, WhatsApp messages with photographs of a tiger were spread in Malaysia, telling people that the animal was spotted near the state National Registration Department in the northwestern city of Ipoh.

The messages said that people should be careful while driving around the area.

However, inquiries with authorities confirmed that the messages were untrue.

The images were taken in India, and not in the town of Meru as claimed. In fact the same images had earlier in the month been sent out claiming to have been taken in Gambang, a town in the state of Pahang.

Several people were interviewed on their thoughts about fake news, and whether they repost everything they read on social media sites.

Lorry driver Mohd Akmal Ahmad Zamri, 29, said he is active on social media but never re-posts anything that he is unsure of.

“I will ask people around first if indeed there is something happening in the area mentioned in the post.

The public are reminded to verify news they receive on social media before forwarding it via cellphones. 

“These days there is more fake news compared to real issues, and I am not the type to believe what is stated straight away,” he added.

Businesswoman R. Kalyani, 48, said, before re-posting anything using social media applications she first verifies the news.

Kalyani said she checks with her family and friends on how much truth is in the specific article or viral video.

“I will also go to Google and other sites to check if indeed the news in making waves before I repost something,” she added.

Trader Ismail Talib, 41, said he only shares or re-posts something, which benefits people.

“These days people are out to slander others, and I don’t wish to be categorised in that group.

“If there are people I know staying in a certain area where an incident or social media post is said to have happened, I will send the link to them to check on the facts first.

“For example, if an accident occurred on the expressway, and if the information is true then I will share to alert family and friends on the road to use an alternative route to avoid getting caught in a traffic jam,” he added.

Retiree Joginder Kaur Jessy, 63, said she does not believe what is posted an other online sites, the reason being that nowadays there are a lot of scams and fake news being circulated.

“There are people out there who are wanting to make fast money, and I will usually show the information to close friends to counter check if indeed the information provided is true or false,” she added.

Homemaker M.Bavani Devi, 42, she previously used to re-post topics from social media sites.

“But now I don’t strictly believe everything stated on social media, and will only do so if I see it being reported in the mainstream media channels.

“I don’t trust unverified online news,” she added.

University student Kalvinderjeet Kaur, 22, said she tries to verify details first, because these days every single issue goes viral very quickly.

“I will never repost immediately without checking if it is from a valid and trustworthy source,” she added.

Roshene Malar, 38, an assistant supervisor at a factory said she re-posts certain news items to her immediate family members first.

“Firstly, I will read the comments posted by others to see if indeed the news is real.

“If the feedback from my family members is positive, only then I will I re-post the articles or news,” she added.

Production supervisor Sundeep Kaur Cheema, 42, said, previously she used to re-post and believe what was written on the social media sites.

“However, these days I will check in the comments section first, and I will not re-post and share any dubious post.

“There is no need to create unnecessary panic, and uneasiness when we ourselves are not sure if the news is fake or real in the first place,” she added.

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