The serious mishap happened at one of the respected satellite channels few weeks ago of presenting a 19 years old school leaver as “political analyst and researcher”, exposes clearly many serious issues we face in this social media era.
The school leaver who did not finish his year 10 schooling and working currently as laborer in Sydney, had no single published article on any subject that could interest any reader. He also did not have any experience working in any media organisation, even as cleaner. He also had never worked in any research institute or organisation. All he achieved was to film himself with his IPhone talking about Israeli crimes in Gaza. Then he published these childish clips on his Facebook account. This exercise made him “researcher and political analysts” and landed him many interviews with the same respected satellite TV station.
So, what does it takes you to become “journalist”, “researcher”, “expert” and “political analyst”?
All what you need to do is to go to the nearest shop selling smart phones. Purchase a smart phone. Go home and create Facebook page. If you create Twitter account, that will be a bonus. You need to focus on the audience you want to deceive. If you want to deceive people on Syrian crisis issue, send your invitation to anyone who has Syrian flag or Syrian president poster as profile picture. Then you can share as many articles and news as possible on the issue. It is better if you copy and paste these articles, so that you can give impression that you wrote these articles. Save and republish pictures. By doing this, you fool people and give them impression that you are journalist and have a lot of networks on the ground.
Continue like this for one week. You can change introduction about yourself on your timeline and call yourself anything you wish “investigative journalist”, researcher”, “”expert”... almost anything.
Once I wanted to prove that Facebook is just virtual imagined community that absorbs anything. I changed my profession on Timeline into “astronaut” working for “NASA”. Guess what? No one had challenged me. People who personally know me sent me private message with some “hahaha” or “lol”. The rest believed that I am astronaut working for NASA.
Why wasting 4 years study at university for a degree in media and journalism. Why waiting Murdoch to employ you in one of his organisations. You can educate yourself, employ yourself and become high-profile expert with tens of thousands of “friends and followers”.
One of the guys in Sydney who stopped with his education at year 2 of primary education, convinced people in Sydney that he is “journalist” and “strategic analyst”. Some of his followers are calling him “doctor” (assuming that he has PHD in politics or media). He even claims on his timeline that he had finished BA in Art at UNSW. When in fact he cannot construct a sentence in any language.
This is a dilemma facing our generation.
We thought that the appearance of alternative media will make things more transparent and truthful. When in fact it made things even worse, where people needs a smart phone and a Facebook account to fabricate news and events.
Of course I am not writing about this because of fun only. The issue is very dangerous and could have serious implications. Some of these “smart phones” experts could infiltrate organisations, communities and political systems to achieve destructive agendas. Of course some of these fake experts are harmless and doing this for either fun, being bored at retirement age or because of mental health problems. What concerns us are the “professional” fake experts who fake their statuses, expertise and professional abilities for deeply destructive agendas. This agendas could include spying, stealing money online... etc
I cannot find any solution for this dilemma. And I do not think that anyone has. But I deeply believe that if we give the liar enough rope, he/she will hang themselves with it. But sometimes, this happens late after many victims suffers.
It is the tax we need to pay for advanced technology we enjoy.
Tuesday, September 05, 2017
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