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Fake News and War : a lesson from Syria (Bangkok)

Time: Wednesday, 18th April Protected content PM.
Venue: Madee Hub
42/3 Soi Ekkamai 4 (Passana 2) Sukhumvit 63 Rd., Phra Kanong Neua, Wattana, Bangkok Protected content
Note: discussion is in English
RSVP: Reynaldo ( Protected content )

In recent years, fake news has profoundly shaped the course of human history, often leaving a path of disruption and hate in its wake. From the controversial Protected content election to the compromise of Facebook's user data, we are only beginning to understand the impact of its infiltration, both on society and our democratic institutions. When used as a weapon to aid political machines and spread propaganda, its pervasiveness undermines global peace-building processes and calls into question the future of democracy.

Social media and the dissemination of fake news as its "byproduct" have become a new type of warfare, more dangerous than we ever thought. Different from traditional weaponry, fake news targets the human psyche with fabricated realities that seek to deeply divide society. Fuelling hatred between enemies and unquestioned loyalties among allies, its laser-sharp cut serves as a catalyst for self-destruction if not diffused.

Today, democracy is at greater risk from the threat of fake news than from the warfare tactics of despotic leaders and the autocratic regime. An extensive compilation of evidence shows that western mainstream media fabricated news for the interest of some political entities in order to destabilize other entities, notably countries. Examples of such evidence will be provided to help frame our discussion on how fake news has fabricated unnecessary and unjust wars in today's world.

We've invited a special guest to share his views on the issues surrounding fake news as they pertain to the ongoing Syrian war. He's a Franco-Syrian academic whose area of expertise is rooted in Middle-Eastern conflict and whose personal experiences offer a first-hand account of what's happening in the region.

Links to a set of interviews between Syrian President al-Assad and western journalists covering the war in Syria are provided once you apply for RSVP as a tool to better understand the issues at hand. The objective of the exercise is to draw lessons from the Syrian conflict and apply them to the challenges of peace-building in South-East Asia, a region that is not exempt from the menace of fake news.

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