Public Forum 3

Fake news, Misinformation and Propaganda: Role of Social Media

Day/Date: Thursday 8th August, 2019

Time: 10.30 am -12.30 p.m.

Venue: ZU Link Road Campus


Ms Tehmina Lodhi

She is the Principal of College of Media Sciences, at Ziauddin University. She has a holistic insight into the Education Management, Creative field, Marketing and Advertising, Film Production, Media industry, and forecasting of upcoming market trends. Ms Tehmina has a strong Knowledge of strategic and operational aspects of diversified projects of varied nature.

Mr Shaheryar Popalzai

He is a digital strategist and journalism trainer currently associated with Dawn Media Group. He has previously worked with The Express Tribune as Head of Original Content and Strategy, and as an ICFJ Knight Fellow in Pakistan. He also runs Siasat Bot (a political watch bot on Twitter) and Project Shikari (a tool for tracking hashtag propagnda on Twitter). Popalzai’s work has focused on strategy, journalism innovation and fighting mis/disinformation.

Ms Sumaira Jujja

She is a senior journalist at Dawn Newspaper. Her track record includes some valuable articles on human rights issues and sectarian violence.

News: Public Forum-3

The faculty of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences held its third Public Forum titled: Fake news, Misinformation and Propaganda: Role of Social Media, on Thursday 8th August, 2019. This event was held in collaboration with ZUFEST at the North campus.

The event was effectively hosted by ZUFEST students. Dean FLAHS, Prof. Dr Fauzia Shamim welcomed and introduced the forum to the guests. The three speakers: Mr Shaheryar Popalzai, Ms Tehmina Lodhi and Ms Sumaira Jajja enlightened the audience with their talk on the topic followed by a Panel Discussion and Q & A session, moderated by Dr Fauzia Shamim.

The speakers started by describing the topic in detail and emphasized the need for such events in this internet age where the problem is global. However, the speakers accepted that despite being aware of the issue, much remains unknown regarding the vulnerabilities of individuals, institutions, and society to manipulations by malicious actors. They stressed that a new system of safeguards is needed. Filtering, vetting, and verifying online information is essential.

The lines between traditional news and online information are blurring. In today’s world, online social media plays a vital role during real world events. There are both positive and negative effects of social media coverage of events.

The speakers highlighted the need for developing information verification skills in individuals in halting the spread of misinformation. For example, simply Googling some new piece of information and not sharing it right away could prove beneficial in halting the spread of misinformation. The forum concluded that online users must possess an attitude of healthy skepticism when any information comes their way.