A fake news published about Hamad Interational Airport (HIA) by a portal in the United Arab Emirates has drawn global condemnation and, following the outcry on social media, the fake news was later deleted from the Twitter accounts of the said company.
To add to the despicable act, a tweet by UAE-based @AlAin_4u posted a picture of a passenger aircraft, with its engines on fire.
"This is disgraceful! UAE media like @AlAin_4u often spread fake news like this — but to create & share an image inciting harm/destruction/terrorism towards a commercial passenger jet (A350) is absolutely inexcusable," said Alex Macheras, an internationally acknowledged aviation expert.
Commenting on the fake news, Alex tweeted: "This does nothing but hurt the reputation of aviation megahubs like UAE — where they’re both wanting to incite some kind of ‘terror’ to Gulf airline competitors, while also attempting to appear a safe, modern aviation home to Emirates/Etihad."
Regarding the news itself, Alex said: "For those asking — the article itself is fake news in its purest form. It incorrectly claims anything & everything about Gulf rival airport, Doha Hamad International Airport."
He repeated his assessment that such blatant lying would only help hurt the UAE-based aviation hubs.
Several users of the social media flayed the news and demanded that the account spreading such news must be reported to Twitter.
One user said this reminded him of Saudi Arabia-based users once showing an illustration of a passenger plane being shot down over that country's airspace.
Replying to that, another user said the blockading countries are capable of imagining any act of sabotage or terror. Another said UAE-based organisations publish fake news on a regular basis like someone taking medicines for an ailment.
Cyril Ndegeya (@Cyrildegeya) wondered the government where that media operated has taken any measure against the media house. "If not, I wonder if there are media regulations in that country."
The fake news was carried by the alain.com, a news portal that is owned by Abu Dhabi-based Al Majal for Media and Research Company.