Using this photograph many have been severely criticising the minister over his alleged actions.
However, ‘Lanka News Web’ says that such photographs are picked up by FB pages and published on their accounts without any verification regarding the authenticity of these photographs. They claim that these FB pages use these photographs from any garbage bin just to increase the reach of their audience and boost their popularity.
Prior to insulting anyone, look carefully at the photograph.
At first glance it looks like Minister John Amaratunge in the photograph, but upon close examination it is clear that it is an edited photograph.
Minister John Amaratunge is now 78 but the above photograph does not look like that of a man of that age. Although the face in that photograph is that of the minister the rest of his body parts look like that of a person of around 35-40 years. Although John Amaratunge has wrinkles on his face, the body in this photograph has no such signs of aging.
Minister John speaks
In an FB post, Minister John Amaratunge has stated that while there is a photo of him being circulated on social media, this is a photo shopped image and not him.
He had stated that a complaint had been made and the relevant authorities would investigate as to who had posted that photo.
According to police sources, the complaint had been made to the CID and several persons had been questioned regarding the issue.
Renowned artiste Prageeth Ratnayake had posted on social media regarding this matter.
“Are you jealous of my ability? Be happy for me. I never took away you happiness. Hence, why are you jealous of my happiness?”
Way to identify scandalous posts on FB!
The alternative centre has introduced several simple methods of identifying fake news published by web sites.
They point out that if the relevant news is analysed based on nine points, there is a higher chance of detecting fake news.
The relevant method is shown below.
What is fake news?
The BBC reported that the comments of those who post such photos and fake news on social media and contradictory. According to that report there are two types of fake news.
These fake news is published intentionally to discredit someone or create a false belief among the people.
Although some posts have some degree of truth to it others are completely fake. For instance journalists or bloggers posts are without proper investigation.
Fake news over social media affects not just Sri Lanka but the whole world.
When there was the Rohinja crisis, there were social media posts that they had fled to Sri Lanka.
Then there was the fake news about sterilisation pills being added to food and eventually the UN intervened to educate the Sri Lankans.
There were several FB posts that the Myanmar Buddhists have fallen prey to violence.
The police had arrested several persons over these fake posts.
The officials had to impose bans on certain web sites at the time.
In January, that company imposed a regulation restricting WhatsApp message forwards to just five.
This measure was taken to prevent the spread of fake news on WhatsApp.
When "Fake news" is not fake
Even those who don’t want to accept accurate news could depict it as fake news.
There is room for anyone to deem an accurate news item as fake as it does not identify with their own goals.
Fake news publication is growing to be a huge issue.
How can one identify fake news?
Several important points to stay away from fake news.
· See if the news is being posted by someone else.
· Check if it has been reported on radio, tv or newspapers.
· See if you have heard of this web site of FB page.
· Check on the reliability of the web site that has published the news.
· Check the nature of the photos or videos as there could be edited ones.
See if the relevant news creates trust.
If you cannot be satisfied with the published news based on the above points, then refrain from posting them.