News Agencies Stoop So Low For Social Media Likes?

Why are news agencies providing false reports just to bait users into “liking” the post or “sharing” it. I honestly feel that these news providers should be held accountable for spreading rumours. Here are just some examples I’ve taken from NST and Red FM’s Facebook page. Both these pages published stories about the “reported crash” in Belitung Timur.


Red FM Malaysia

They could have done a bit of Google search, realize that the information was not credible and not post it on their website and Facebook. Sometimes I wonder if such updates are published on purpose to increase likes on social media. Take the NST post above as an example. This particular post garnered more likes and shares than any other post the page has made over the past few days.

In the comment thread of the Red FM post, you find this:

Red FM Malaysia2

If you know they are unconfirmed reports, why publish them in the first place? Or at least have the courtesy to remove the update because you know for a fact that it’s not true. Instead the articles remain online. Perhaps it is helping to boost traffic to the site? Are you leaving it online simply because it’s getting traffic?

And then you have another post from NST where they state, “There’s hope still”. I mean, do a bit of research and if the news does not seem credible, why publish it? Why provide false hope and help spread rumours just for the sake of traffic and likes? Majority of major news networks did not carry this blackberry story, yet you did it. Why?

1  NST Online

Whoever responsible for managing the social media channel for both RedFm and NST should be honestly put on notice. Such nonsense reporting and rumour spreading. Don’t jump on the bandwagon and publish nonsense just for the sake of it. It appears that many users on social media are equally annoyed. You can read the comments for the posts on Facebook. Here are just some of them:

Where is the proof? How can you release this kind of news without an evidence. Dont even have an official statement from the airasia! How can said the plane confirmed crashed at Belitung! Shame on you!

sorry NST.. am unfollowed you.

Base on their report, without verifying the authenticity, you allowed the news to be spread all over? What difference does it make between you and those rumors spreaders?

I think AirAsia and Tony Fernandes are doing a wonderful job in handling the situation online. The fact that they post this on their update itself tells a lot about what some of the news agencies are doing..

Note to Editors: We ask that members of the news media do not call the AirAsia Emergency Call Centre, as this line is reserved for family members seeking information about those who may have been on board.

Hopefully we will see more responsible reporting from the media. It’s not just about likes, statistics and traffic. It is truly sad to hear about the missing AirAsia QZ8501.

Kugan Kumar

V.Kugantharan is the founder of Joy With Music, where he teaches adults and kids the joys of playing the piano. He also runs a web design agency, 504 Studios. A father of a very "opinionated" four-year-old, he divides his time between his passions -- blogging, reading, music, design and books.

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