A concerned reader has alerted The Peninsula that a fake news is spreading through the social media. The message is a screenshot with a headline â€œQarar announces new tax imposed on all citizens.â€ The blurb below says â€œThe Qatari government has announced the issuance of a circular to impose a new tax in the country.â€ But there was no such information, either official or media reports.
The URL as in screenshot is http://aleqtisadia.com/ (the last letter not very clear). When we did a simple search on Google with the headline, it elicited no result. We repeated the search on both Facebook and Twitter. While Twitter produced no results, Facebook came up with three videos which canâ€™t even be remotely linked to the â€˜story.â€™
Meanwhile, the URL of the Riyadh based Saudi Arabian newspaper with a similar name is http://www.aleqt.com according to its verified Twitter account @aleqtisadiah.
It could also be that someone deliberately made an image and spreading it through the dark web channels such as encrypted messaging apps where activities go unnoticed or remain unverifiable for some time.
A journalist in Doha said he has repeatedly seen the â€˜storyâ€™ for the last 2-3 days, but didnâ€™t mind to click the link because he feared of the malware attacks.
Here are some of the earlier stories we published on fake news and tips on how not to fall prey to them:
10 tips from WhatsApp to spot fake news and hoax messages
How a Macedonian town became a ‘fake news’ epicentre
Facebook news use declining, WhatsApp growing: study
Source: The Peninsula Newspaper