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Fake Facebook post posing as attempts to mislead public

Monitoring Desk 2018-06-23
KARACHl: A Facebook post doctored to look like a post by, surfaced on Thursday.

The post attempts to mislead the public and stakeholders by suggesting that Afghanistan has accepted the Durand Line as an official border. It presents an image of Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and falsely claims that the matter was discussed at a meeting.

The doctored image, which copies elements of Dawn`s social media and Facebook layout, led the Afghan National Security Council (NSC) to issue a press release that mistakenly assumed the post was legitimate.

In order to ensure that the authorities and the public do not fall prey to such mischievous machinations in future, the following points detail how a fake Facebook post can be identified.

Time stamp A typical Facebook post has a time stamp and a privacy icon below the publisher`s name. The doctored image has `3 Std.

written where the time stamp is located, while Facebook`s standard format is 34 mins, 2 hrs, and Friday at 7:29pm for minutes, hours and days.

Position of the `like` thumb icon Facebook places the `like` icon below posts. In the fake post, the thumb icon is floating at the top right near the menu button.

It is also not correctly aligned with the menu button.

Style differences The caption of the fake post introduces Gen Bajwa as `Pakistan`s Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa`. A Pakistani publication does not need to tell its readers that Gen Bajwa is Pakistan`s army chief.

Dawn, and as shown in this story, introduces Gen Bajwa as `Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa`.

Dawn`s contraction for Chief of the Army Staff is COAS, and not CoAS unlike how it is done in the fake post.

The caption also fails to capitalise the line in Durand Line which is not Dawn`s style. The post ends with an exclamation mark, which as a policy, Dawn does not use in hard news posts.