Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Xenophobia hoax -- Why YOU should do your research

A video showing an man -- believed to be South African -- speaking about how he has been at the forefront of the Xenophobia killings in South Africa, has flooded the internet in the past few days/weeks.

The man (Raymond Soulfa) in the 4 minute long footage, which is now going viral and has left many upset, states at some point during the video that killing foreigners living in South Africa gives him great joy. He goes on to say that just the other day he successfully killed 7 Gambians and that the killing will continue unless all foreigners leave South Africa within 14 days.

The same man, having experienced tremendous accusations, later posted a video apologising for his offense, explaining that he is, in actuality, a blogger and comedian.  The video containing his apology can be found below.

While I was studying (MA) Journalism and New Media, we were always encouraged to do extensive research and not just believe news at face value, to always be skeptical and always ask questions. However, it is so easy to fall into the trap of believing first and researching later, or not researching at all. 

To avoid being mislead, it's important to always keep one's eyes peeled, no matter the content or news source. Even some of the most trusted news sources have made their mistakes. I'll probably write a follow-up post on that later on. Let's not fall for things like this a second time. Let's continue to do our research.