Defend Press Freedom

In honor of World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd, we hope you will consider supporting The Media Line this month.
The role of a free press has been at the foundation of democracies around the world for nearly 200 years.
Yet, in many countries, publications are censored and journalists put their lives at risk to report the truth.
A transparent and reliable press covering the important issues of the Middle East is needed more than ever.

The Media Line is proud to assume this responsibility and has over 20 years of success in shaping the role of news reporting in the region. We hope you will support our efforts by making a donation today.

Thank you!

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
 
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
Qatari University Says it Has Solution to ‘Fake News’
Environmental activists read copies of a fake newspaper with fictional headlines about climate change during an October 18 protest in London. (Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Qatari University Says it Has Solution to ‘Fake News’

Academic in Saudi Arabia, however, insists that Doha is part of the problem

Qatar’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University says it has developed a software program that is able to evaluate news stories and determine whether they are factual and objective, or merely fake.

The university says the program can analyze news in the Arabic and English media, and that it is working to expand the program’s ability to do the same with other languages.

The program checks several factors, including whether the story has an emotional or subjective style, whether it contains contradictions or attempts to impose an opinion, and how its headline is related to the text.

Saleh Ghareeb, a Qatari writer and political analyst, told The Media Line that work on the program began “after the piracy of the Qatari News Agency in 2017 and the broadcast of fabricated content about Qatar’s prince.”

Ghareeb said that “although the Qatari News Agency, the Qatari Foreign Ministry and the government news office all announced that the agency’s website had been hacked,” several countries imposed a boycott on Doha.

“These countries ignored the Qatari government’s clarification and started broadcasting and analyzing the prince’s statements as if he had actually said them,” he said.

As a result, he continued, the university came up with this “innovative program to evaluate the news transmitted through channels and media platforms, and to prevent the broadcast of false and fake news.”

Ghareeb also pointed out that some media outlets rely on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Telegram as news sources – which they are not.

“Even newspapers are relying on these [social media] platforms for content,” he complained. “The importance of the program is to help prevent fabrications from being presented as facts.”

Khaled Batarfi, a professor of communication at Saudi Arabia’s Alfaisal University, is less enthusiastic about news of the program, saying Qatar has “a long history of producing fake news” and propaganda.

“Qatari media outlets publish lies and fake news regarding Saudi Arabia and the Houthis,” he told The Media Line, referring to Iran’s proxy in Yemen.

Doha is an ally of Tehran, and Riyadh has been leading the fight against the Houthis in order to restore the government of Yemen’s president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Batarfi said that Qatar is “trying to show the world that it is being targeted and is under attack” by campaigns of fake news.

“It’s the usual Qatari grievance speech,” he charged, “which it learned from Iran.”

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
 
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.