Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 27-08-2019
Advertising agency HaveYouHeard says there are a number ‘fake experts’ who others perceive to be an expert, sound like an expert but don’t have the depth of skill, knowledge or expertise to understand the nuances or subject matter within it.
With the rise of social media, there has been a rise in fake news.
In an opinion piece on a local news website earlier this month, ANC MP and South African Ambassador to Ireland, Melanie Verwoerd, wrote about the dangers of fake news on social media.
But co-founder of the advertising agency, HaveYouHeard, Jason Stewart told Radio Islam, social media is also giving power to fake experts.
“They are charlatans of expertise and they are people that have always been around for millennia, but social media and media in general have now provided a platform for them to have a voice continuously.”
Stewart says the fake experts are influencing the public to make bad decisions within their lives.
“They are being trusted by very gullible or naïve audience that is following everything that they are saying and there’s not real accountability or system or way for people to profile or understand who is an expert vs whose a fake expert.”
Stewart says there are about 80% of people or fake experts on social media platforms that force their opinions on the public, which can have dire consequences.
Melanie Verwoerd’s simple rules for dealing with social media.
- If it sounds far-fetched – it most probably is. Delete it.
- Check first if the story appears in the mainstream media. If there is any truth in a story, the various news websites in this country will almost always report on it within minutes. If a simple Google search delivers nothing it is most likely false. Delete it.
- If a video or written piece promotes violence or invokes hatred – DO NOT forward it. It is against the law – even to post it on groups. Equally so if it is potentially libellous. The law makes it clear that by forwarding something defamatory or something that can be construed as hate speech, the forwarder might also fall foul of the law.
Listen to the interview with Jason Stewart