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May 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Fake News or an Error in Social Media?

from the May, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

No doubt you saw our undercover diver's report on the MV Thailand Aggressor in Undercurrent last month. Shortly after we published it, we noticed a newspaper report claiming that Richelieu Rock had been destroyed by dynamite fishing. As we went to work on a story, we soon learned that the source, a Thai newspaper, had taken its story from a Facebook post.

However, the story sparked a team of divers from Mu Koh Surin National Park to journey out to inspect the Rock, a world-famous location for scuba diving. Everything was just fine.

Park chief Phutthaphot Khuprasit said that a team inspected the site to a depth of 30 meters and found that the coral was still fertile, with many varieties of fish and young coral. While there was some coral damage attributable to the forces of nature, they found no trace of any explosion damage. The original Facebook poster had seen some dead fish on the seabed and jumped to the wrong conclusion. She has since apologized, not a common response for those who take news from social media and broadcast it as fact. (Source: www.nationalmultimedia.com)

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