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Sunday, October 30, 2011

A small victory

Last week I discovered that a Ma'an story claiming that an 11-year old boy was released after five months in an Israeli prison, which was copied and retweeted on anti-Israel sites, was not true.

The real story was that a 17 year old stone-thrower was imprisoned for 4 months before being released.

After I brought it to their attention, Ma'an corrected the story. (In Arabic, they corrected the age but still refer to him multiple times as a "child.")

The unanswered question is whether a Ma'an reporter was physically there during his release. The article claims that "Israeli forces tried to forbid people who were waiting for the child near the checkpoint from welcoming him and tried to remove Palestinian flags that were on cars near the checkpoint." But if the reporter, who presumably knows the difference between an 11 year old child and a 17-year old, was not there, then how was this information obtained? The article doesn't say "witnesses said" or anything like that.

Nevertheless, it is a very small victory in the war against the huge amount of misinformation out there.