A viral video that has been circulating around the web of a man on fire at Dubai Mall has been confirmed as fake, with a top police officer stating that the incident did not take place anywhere in the city.
The 48-second video that was circulating showed mall visitors and staff trying to put out flames of a man on fire at Dubai Mall, and a source has confirmed to Khaleej Times that the police were never notified about the issue by any Dubai mall.
Major-general Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, assistant commander-in chief- of the Dubai Police for criminal investigation, came forward with a statement reminding the public to avoid believing information circulated on social media. Spreading these rumors and fake news is illegal, in fact, and can be punished by up to three years in prison and a fine of Dh250,000.
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The video seemed to show a mobile phone charger exploding and causing the issue of the man on fire at Dubai Mall, and while we’re now a good way away from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, the idea of phones overheating or exploding is still fresh on everyone’s mind. Many were panicked about the man on fire at Dubai Mall due to the fact that the issue was reportedly with the phone charger, and the spread of misinformation could potentially cause problems for manufacturers if it isn’t addressed as it was earlier today.
For one reason or another, the spread of “fake news” around the world has become a viral sensation. While in some cases it appears to have clearly nefarious intentions such as the alleged interference of the Russian state in the United States election, but other times it’s just people trolling for a reaction. It’s difficult to see the motivation behind circulating a video of a man on fire at Dubai mall, but if it truly didn’t’ happen it was a pretty convincing fabrication.
While the statement from the authorities within Dubai may serve to help address the fake video of the man on fire at Dubai Mall, it probably will be like throwing a small bucket of water on a raging inferno considering the speed at which the clip has been circulating around the web. This brings to light a real problem with the idea of fake videos and news, as even when they are proven false they continue to attract a lot of attention.
If there’s one takeaway from this situation, it’s probably to be careful about the news that you’re consuming. While believing that there was a man on fire at Dubai mall is probably not dangerous in and of itself, it just goes to show how easily someone can manipulate the public with a sufficient amount of time and reach.
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