An audio that circulated in social networks about the wife of President Lenin Moreno, which was later proven false, opened the debate on the use of virtual tools and the role of the media.
Last weekend, the alleged news of an incident in Madrid, capital of Spain, that pointed to the wife of President Lenin Moreno, Rocio González, circulated in the country’s social networks. She had allegedly caused a traffic jam in the center of the city for shopping. The audio, replicated in different platforms, supposedly came from a SER report, but the recording turned out to be totally false.
Despite this, the audio was published on social networks and users disseminated it as true, which caused an affectation to the image of the President’s wife, who was part of the delegation that traveled to Spain. For the former director of the International Center for Advanced Communication Studies in Latin America (Ciespal), Édgar Jaramillo, electronic media has opened the spreading of “fake news” or fake news almost uncontrollably, which is a worldwide problem. Jaramillo believes that the media have a duty to verify and contrast any information, but that “is absent in social networks.”
Jaramillo, who is also a university professor of social communication, argues that most people, for lack of knowledge, accept as valid any data found in networks and the worst is that it reproduces “without reflection and even less verifies if the source is reliable. ” For this reason, he considers that the receiver is easy to deceive, especially when many of these false news uses true media formats to deceive more effectively.
He suggests that this phenomenon must be attacked on several fronts, such as education, so that people understand and identify these tricks. The legal way may be to update the regulations to prevent these rumors from affecting the integrity and honor of the people. He also believes that the new role of the media should also deal with this phenomenon and dedicate spaces to distort false news, “this is a new role that is needed to be adopted immediately as a service to society.” This phenomenon affects, above all, public and political figures, although these refer to falsely descriptive facts that seek to manipulate audiences.
Efraín Luna, a professor at the Catholic University of Guayaquil, maintains that there is always damage, “that reaches other people and even though there is a reply and those things, there is always something left.”
He also explains that false news will always exist, moreover, when people publish them without verifying their truthfulness. Such as what happened in the US presidential elections in November 2016 and what Catalonia faces today. Its population, decides in ballot boxes during this Thursday the government that wishes in the middle of constant attacks of fake news.
The campaign began on December 5 and at least 10 false news have been denied to discredit the candidates. Luna does not recommend, the creation of a law, because it could censor freedom of expression. Proposes to carry a campaign of permanent alert on this type of information, because in a future and not only the authorities or public figures would be “victims of loss of prestige” but even the citizenry. The Master in New Technologies, Christian Espinosa, shares the criterion of creating educational campaigns, but considers that institutions such as the National Electoral Council should lead actions as a “pre-election antidote” to prevent and identify fake news.
“The denials of false news are never shared as much as misinformation and in this way the credibility of the media and of the people is affected”. For this reason it highlights the importance of “unmasking all information lacking in truth, wherever it comes from”. In this way, he points out, citizens will be educated so that they do not reproduce contents without guarantee of truth, because of greater affinity or rejection that they have of a character, the main reason why they post a publication. Espinoza further explains that this would be a way to prevent its proliferation.
President urges respect in social networks In his Twitter account, the President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno, yesterday published a photo in which he is observed hugging a child and with it a legend to commemorate the ‘Day of Solidarity. ‘ In the image the message indicates: “the best food for the spirit is to be supportive. When we are, sorrows are alleviated, the soul rejoices and the world is kinder “.
A message that means a show about the respect that should exist in social networks. On August 3, the Head of State asked Ecuadorians to make good use of this communication space and stressed that he will not respond to those who offend him. “My position, as President of all Ecuadorians – and my education – prevents me from responding in the same terms used by those who offend me,” the President wrote. Previously he had explained that in social networks “I report what I do and celebrate the triumphs of our compatriots. I will never use them to offend Ecuadorians. Let’s be better people in everything and with everyone, “he said.
Previously, the Head of State wrote on the same Twitter social network: “I promised never to let my arms down and he promised to live always smiling.” This he said in reference to the hug he gave to a child with disabilities in one of his tours of the country. According to the official website El Ciudadano, the President has been characterized by maintaining permanent contact with citizens. In addition to highlighting the positive values of Ecuadorians, as well as invites to dismiss the hatred and insults that come from some sectors. He also congratulated himself when he published a photo in which three students took a selfie (self-portrait) with the President during his visit to the Government Palace. Along with that photo, Moreno wrote: “A selfie that portrays us the soul, the good soul of the Ecuadorians”. (I)