Monday, January 2, 2017


It’s been called an epidemic of sorts in the internet: the slew of seemingly authentic yet false news articles that usually haunt timelines and posts of many a social media account, and sometimes end up being cited as factual reporting that influences real important decisions in business, government, and personal lifestyles. When a fake newsbyte is take for the real deal, it can have some far-reaching consequences and spawn potential nightmare scenarios, such as the one that took place just this Christmas Eve, December 24, between Israel and Pakistan that could well have triggered an honest-to- goodness nuclear war.

CNN reports that an article that was put up in the AWDNews website Tuesday December 20 ended up with Pakistan, represented by their Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, issuing a threat to retaliate with nuclear arms against Israel with the stern warning that it wasn’t the only country in the Middle East-South Asian region with an arsenal of nukes. Why the tough talk? It’s because the AWDNews article supposedly contained a statement purportedly uttered by Asif’s Israeli counterpart Moshe Yaalon, which warned Pakistan not to send troops into neighboring Syria. Otherwise, Yaalon claimed in the newsbyte, “We will destroy them with a nuclear attack."

The rebuttal by Pakistani Minister Asif came on Twitter late Friday December 23, local time. It read: “Israeli (defense minister) threatens nuclear retaliation presuming (Pakistan) role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear State too."For a tense moment, everything seemed poised to erupt in chaos.

Fortunately cooler heads prevailed in the Israel Defense Ministry which clarified a few things on their own official Twitter page. The most important explanation was that, "The statement attributed to (former Defense Minister) Yaalon (regarding) Pakistan was never said…Reports referred to by the Pakistani Def Min are entirely false."Minister Asif was quick to assure de-escalation in his reply, assuring that his country’s nuclear program and armaments are solely a deterrence to protect Pakistan’s freedom and never an aggressive option for their military. Further, he states, his people only desire to coexist in peace, both in their region (a hit at increasingly thin-skinned India) and beyond (specifically Israel).

This is but a sampling of some of the harmful effects of this current proliferation of “fake news” that is taken by powerful figures to be real. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton attributes them to the eventual victory of her nemesis Republican bet Donald Trump. And a conspiracy theory alleging that Washington DC pizzeria Comet Ping Pong secretly engages in child prostitution with knowledge from the Democratic Party (“Pizzagate”) led to the arrest at the venue of a man with an assault rifle.

Photo Credit to


Post a Comment