Have always struggled with the authenticity of reports coming in from regions of contention (see: conflicting reports on Aleppo, Duterte’s activity in the Philippines, the NYE assaults in Cologne, the long-suffering Arab-Israeli region..).
This is not surprising, but it is really chilling. One path leads to pockets of society taking up arms when an infraction is publicized and before it can be verified (if it can be at all, the correction is always less popular than the clickbait??), the other leads to increasing apathy (“nothing is real, all is illusion”).
Also it does look very strange when they make Putin smile. That guy does not joke around.
Strangely enough, this made me think of r/mma, where false reports about fighters and upcoming pay-per-view cards are run of the mill. In such perilous times, reporters like Ariel Helwani who have built up a reputation for accuracy and cross-checking sources are what the community turns to whenever ‘Breaking News’ hits the front page. That can seem like a reprieve of sorts, but this is just mixed martial arts – how much faith can you place in the hands of ‘credible (wo)men’?? Banking on someone’s reputation alone is a scary path to go down..