“Estadao: Neymar advices Coutinho not to go to Barça” said the headline in the Catalan daily SPORT. Any headline like that is worthy of a healthy dose of skepticism. How did the journalists know about this conversation? Why is Neymar trying to keep Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool and away from Barcelona? And so on.
But this one aroused my suspicion even more because I first saw it on Twitter and after going to Estadao’s website, couldn’t find the story.
The tweet was sent by @BrazilStat, a very popular fan twitter of the Brazilian national team. I sent this to them at the time, and got no response:
I don't see it on their site. Would like to see the original link https://t.co/ACx0CJ8g70— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) August 28, 2017
The tweet spread like wildfire. Then it got picked up by SPORT, and then it went from there. All based on a tweet that was talking about a site that wasn’t reporting it!
But I wanted to make sure I wasn’t accusing someone of making a mistake when they weren’t. I checked with Renato Gonçalves, who as you probably know writes here on BB and is Brazilian, to back me up. Here’s our conversation:
Now, I was ready to write this blog, and that’s when I found this:
Estadão did not report anything about Coutinho & Neymar. I based my tweet on a Facebook page without double checking. I publicly apologise.— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) August 29, 2017
And now Estadao is officially denying it, as if you needed further proof.
To credit @BrazilStat, he came out and publicly apologized for making the mistake. I don’t see SPORT doing that right now, which they really should. You can’t just pluck things from Twitter and assume they’re correct. It’s made even harder when a reputable news source falls for it, other sites start reprinting it assuming the first site checked it, and then it has seemingly the backing of so many sources. In reality, it’s a house of cards built on something fake. Sometimes you get used to certain sites or Twitter accounts being reliable, and mistakes happen. It shouldn’t be like that, but everyone makes a mistake every now and again. Writing an apology is very important in that case.
In today’s world, we are bombarded with fake information on social media. We have to be extra careful.