Pakistan Man Sentenced to Death for Farting Was Fake

It is one thing for Twitter trolls to use posts from satirical websites for political propaganda. However, for mainstream media outlets to promote satire as news is quite disturbing.

It sometimes could show how the process of news-making lacks due diligence at some points.

The satirical story of a man been sentenced to death for Farting was published by a website called World News Daily Report. The website carries a disclaimer at the bottom of every page on its website stating that the nature of their content is entirely fictional.

The disclaimer states, “World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.”

The statement about their content being fictional is also present on their disclaimer page. The photo used in the World News Daily Report article is that of one Behnam Yaali who’s been accused of murdering his former girlfriend in Canada.

A satirical post should ideally state that the content is fictional immediately after the main text of the article and not at the very bottom of the website. However, for the sake of traffic and the resulting money from advertisement clicks, many satirical websites often push the disclaimer to places where people are not likely to notice.

Recently, even Shashi Tharoor had fallen prey to a new report from this website and had tweeted about it. Upon being informed about his error, he deleted the tweet, albeit without an apology.

 Now, one mainstream vernacular newspaper, Sandesh, and an online news portal called OneIndia have fallen for this. Sandesh has the second largest circulation in Gujarati Newspapers in Gujarat. They translated the report from World News Daily Report and published it on the 12th page of the newspaper on Sunday on 2 July. OneIndia translated the news report into Hindi and published it on their online portal.
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