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Human Resources Club explains ways to detect fake news

Wednesday May 06, 2020

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) organized a virtual session (Webinar) for the Human Resources Club, using live streaming technology via the Internet.

The session, which was titled "Exposing Fake News and Disinformation”,  discussed several important topics and issues, namely: The role of community members in limiting the spread of false news, or misleading information, the effect of social media in accelerating spread of fake news, the role of governments in limiting gossip and fake news, and the impact of the current exceptional situations the world is witnessing or crises that some countries may experience such as conflicts and wars in passing rumors and false news.

In this regard, Salwa Abdullah, Director of Projects and Programs Department at the Authority confirmed that the new approach adopted by the Authority since 2019 in broadcasting the Club’s sessions, using direct broadcast techniques achieved remarkable success. It enabled the Club to reach a larger segment of the public, which contributed to achieving its goals  as one of the Authority’s strategic initiatives and an important intellectual and knowledge communication platform that brings together thousands of people interested in HR issues, support services or general and emerging issues. 

Salwa Abdullah said: “HR Club has made since its launch, great strides and was received enthusiastically by specialists and those interested in human resources locally, regionally and globally. The live streaming used in broadcasting the Club's sessions via the Internet, reflects the Authority’s keenness to transfer knowledge, best practices, and global experiences in the field of human resources to the largest segment of audience within the country or abroad.

“This shift to modern technology serves the UAE Government’s directions towards working remotely, and employing the latest technologies to ensure business continuity in the Federal Government, as well as protect the health of community members, and Federal Government employees, under the current circumstances.”

The session hosted Dr. Hossam Ali Salama, Dean, Faculty of Information at Ajman University, who spoke about the problems related to the news  industry, ways to detect fake news, mechanisms for verifying news credibility, and the negative role that social media played in the rapid spread  of fake news and malicious rumors.

He said: “Rumors and fake news are not new, they are there since time immemorial, but what is emerging today is how quickly and easily information, both true and false, is widely shared. Anyone today can publish their stories on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share with people around the world.”

Dr. Hossam Salama explained the many reasons rumors and fake news spread quickly. The most important reasons, according ti him, are that most people do not verify the validity of the information they receive, and they do not make the slightest effort to verify the source of this information, but rather  share it immediately, allowing its spread quickly like wildfire.

He cited a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018, whose results concluded that false news and rumors spread on social media much faster than real news, as this type of false news creates feelings of fear, making people more and more interested in reading and sharing it with others.

The speaker added: “Some people read fake news and share it with others because they believe the information received confirms their preconceived convictions, and, repeating information again and again make it more realistic and credible. So, members of society have to deal carefully with news and information and verify what they receive from the source. it is very important to make sure of the authenticity of any information whether in the form of video clips, pictures or news, before sharing with others, as such information must be obtained from reliable and official sources, to prevent   rumors and misleading news.

Dr. Salama highlighted some of the methods that help in detection of fake images, which are edited and the modifications and effects of them are introduced through modern image editing programs, pointing out that some tools such as Google Reverse Image can be used to ensure if the image has  been modified or used in a wrong context.

“Some sites and programs detect fake images by identifying details of published images in terms of date, size and context of publication, and any modification that has been made,”he noted.

Human Resource Club

The Club offers its membership, which has grown to over 12 thousand, an ideal opportunity to learn about the best practices, experiences and success stories of many individuals and institutions, as well as meeting with specialists and practitioners in the field of institutional work.

It should be noted that membership of the Club is open and free for all those interested in human resources and institutional support, etc. Application should be through website: www.fahr.gov.ae, and e-mail: HRClub@fahr.gov.ae

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