August 14, 2018

Fact check: Imran Khan’s picture on Riyadh’s Kingdom Centre

News Source: The News

KARACHI: A private news channel in Pakistan aired a breaking story about Saudi government has displayed the picture of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman (PTI) Imran Khan on Riyadh’s famous Kingdom Centre.

Soon after, it went viral.

However, it turned out to be ‘fake news’.

Twitteratis started sharing the picture showcasing the prime minister in-waiting on the plaza, located in the centre of Saudi capital.

A fan of PTI, Mohammad Akbar Khan commented that it is ‘First time ever Saudi Arabia displayed picture of Great Imran Khan on their icon building, Pakistan Zindabad.’

It didn’t stop here and the social media users started making fun of it and photoshopped pictures of other personalities like Karachi’s famous ‘Bik Gai Hai Gormint’ fame Aunty.

Although the Kingdom Centre has active social media accounts but there’s no such announcement by the Saudi authorities in this regard.

Kingdom Centre is a 99-storey, 302.3 metres’ fifth tallest skyscraper in the country, and is the world’s third tallest building with a hole after the Shanghai World Financial Center and the 85 Sky Tower in Taiwan.

When completed back in 2002, it overtook the Faisaliyah Tower which was the tallest towerof 267 metres in Riyadh at that time .

Besides the shopping mall, Kingdom Tower contains the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and apartments. There is a 56 m (184 ft) sky bridge atop the skyscraper.

“I think fake content is extremely common on social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, but the word fake itself is subjective,” Asad Beyg, a digital rights activist, said.

“Many a times, sarcasm and satire is confused as false news. One example that I can recall is a picture from Trump’s childhood, which was in reality an Afghan child. I found it funny. But it gets extremely problematic when the editorial staff of a mainstream media fails to identify these items as fake, and run them as ‘news’. I would say its an embarrassment to all of us in the media fraternity. Similarly, I remember the fake tweet, allegedly by Shabnam, was picked up by mainstream outlets.”

“Case at hand, Imran Khan’s picture on Riyadh’s Kingdom centre, was [I am sure] shared as a joke. It was quite obviously photoshopped, anyone could tell. It was frankly embarrassing for me a journalist to see a mainstream outlet reporting it.

“More than that, there was an actual ‘live-beeper’ of a staff reporter to further substantiate it, who linked it with the visit of Saudi’s ambassador to Bani Gala,” he wrote.

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