Aussie Teenager Fearful For His Life After Newspaper Misidentifies Him As A Terrorist With Wrong Facebook Photo
from the like? dept
Traditional newspapers: they’re the best. In stark contrast with so-called “new media” on the internet, they’re the professionals. They write the important stories, give us unbiased reports on all the things, and, most importantly, they have a monopoly on fact-checking. Except, of course, when they don’t. Take the case of one young Australian, Abu Bakar Alam, who was incorrectly identified on the front page of The Age in the land down under as a terrorist.
Abu Bakar Alam, 19, said he was afraid to leave his home and was “not really OK” after being wrongly pictured on the front pages of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald in their coverage of the Endeavour Hills police shooting… Mr Alam said the family saw his son’s picture on social media labelled by the newspaper as Numan Haider, the terror suspect, 18, shot dead by police after stabbing two officers on Tuesday.
“Someone called me and said ‘What happened to your son?’ I said, ‘My son is alive, who said my son is a terrorist?’” Mr Alam said.
The mistake, which the paper has since publicly apologized for, was apparently an instance of editors pulling down Facebook photos and getting them confused. Because, pshh, all them brown-skinned folks look alike, am I right? Well, no, I’m not right, and an industry that touts itself as the fact-checking gurus of the world probably needs to do better than simply apologizing for misidentifying a young man as a terrorist. There are, after all, larger implications of such a mistake.
“I’m gutted,” the teenager told 3AW. “This is going to take a while, but we’re going to sit down as a family and work out what’s going to be the best for us. And for my future. This is not something small. This is going to affect my future as well.”
You’d hope that isn’t the case, of course, but I’m not sure he’s wrong. You’d hate to find out that anyone in Australia acted on this bad information and did something to threaten Alam as a result of a newspaper blasting his picture on their front page.