“China seek for court’s approval to kill the over 20,000 coronavirus patients to avoid further spread of the virus (sic)” is the headline of a much publicised article published on a website known as ab-tc.com.
Kahawa Tungu decided to delve into the matter and acertain wether the news were true, or just hearsay meant to increase website visits and rating.
Here’s our findings:-
The first thing that appears on a story published by any media house or blog is the name of the author, who, professionally, is the first person to take blame or credit for any story. For the said story, the website indicates that the author is a ‘local correspondent’. What the name of the correspondent is no one knows.
In most case, the number one red flag of a fake news story is lacking an identifiable name of an author, or the use of pseudo accounts.
Kahawa Tungu found that the website is notorious of using ‘local correspondent’ by-line, meaning that most of its information might be malicious or unverifiable.
Home country and address
The website does not have a traceable address, and its country of origin is unknown.
According to Webconfs, the websites country of origin is private, and the website IP address is indicated as its domain.
A check on Alexa suggests that the website is based in Ghana, and since the story was published it has moved 1.06 million spots up in the global rank.
Most of its traffic comes from Ghana, according to site metrics from Alexa. If it is based in Ghana, this means that it will be hard to obtain such information from China, that every government would want to keep under wraps.
No other media house in the globe has reported similar news, and the only closest new covered so far entails Chinese government order that all the patients should be secluded and quarantined.
The website says that humanitarian organisations have condemned China’s move, but does not mention/quote even a single organisation.
Professionally, journalists and bloggers quote news sources, authories and other key players in a certain news piece for authenticity, and any news item without a quote or verifiable facts is regarded incomplete, and for editors, ‘hogwash’.
The website wrote a news item headlined “BREAKING: New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur has died.” Pat Shurmur is still alive to date. The article was later pulled down.
Clearly, the website cannot be trusted in news dissemination, and sharing of the said article should be stopped since it generates fear to the uninformed.