Dubai: The toxic effects of fake news and its long-term damage in an era that makes its spread like wildfire so easy via social platforms, and with little regard for fact-checking, was explored at a media forum here on Monday.
The fourth edition of the Emirati Media Forum kicked off at the Dubai World Trade Center, focussing on the national role of the UAE media.
With the region currently in the midst of political turmoil, the role of media in supporting the influential position of the UAE on major regional and international issues is being discussed in the forum’s early sessions.
The first session titled "Fake News", hosted by Nart Bouran, CEO of Sky News Arabia, looked at the types of fake news disseminated on news channels and social media.
Bouran discussed the concepts of misinformation and disinformation, highlighting the latter as an intentional act to spread stories or views.
He referred to misinformation as the type of fake news that is a result of agencies being misinformed about a particular event or breaking news.
“You can sometimes see misinformation by news outlets when one agency uses another source, usually a credible and well-known source, to publish a breaking story or event. If the facts published are wrong, then any outlet who referred to that source will also carry wrong information,” he said.
Bouran also referred to social media, pointing out its large role in spreading fake news.
“Media outlets and journalists need to avoid falling victim to fake news. We need to spread awareness about the types of fake news amongst media agencies, while social media channels should also take responsibility and place regulations to prevent the sharing and spreading of fake news,” he added.
Also looking to discuss media innovation, integration, and its future role in the Gulf crisis, are speakers including Dr Ali Bin Tamim, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Media Company, Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Department, and Dr Sutlan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of the National Media Council.
The keynotes speech will be given by Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the UAE.
This year’s edition will also analyse the key issues facing the local media, and at how the media institutions can develop the leadership and capabilities required to keep pace with the rapid growth in visual, print and audio technologies.