At this point in the 21st century, we all know what fake news is. There are even media such as The Onion or El Mundo Today focused on them, and nothing happens. What nobody expected is that, nowadays, someone would be so gullible as to take a piece of news from one of these two portals and believe it to the point of publishing it in national newspapers. Cristiano Ronaldo, hoaxes, journalism and kebabs. This story is more than news: it is a symptom.
CR7 and the hoaxes
“Fan account, parody account, does not impersonate, does not affiliate with anyone”: this is the biography of the Twitter account that has given rise to a whole soccer conflict and that already gives clues that it may not have reliable information. The CR7 Timeline, as it is called, posted on April 24 a tweet about Mousalli Al-Muammar, the president of Al-Nassr, the team where the Portuguese player now plays and which featured some of his not very positive statements towards the player.
“I have only been ripped off twice in my life. The first was when I ordered 3 kebabs and there were only 2. The second was when I signed Cristiano Ronaldo”. And about the source of the news, an account that writes in Arabic with over 19 million followers, @SaudiNews50. Maybe the kebab thing could give a clue, since it is not the typical food of Saudi Arabia and responds more to a racist stereotype, but nevertheless some journalists did not end up connecting the dots.
On April 27, Cuatro gave the news as real, although it later deleted the tweet. They were not the only ones: La Vanguardia, Mundo Deportivo, El Español, Sport, Semana and many other online newspapers gave it as true, always looking for fodder in the world of soccer. Even Al-Nassr’s press officer had to make a statement to the EFE news agency: “The statements are false, they are true neither in form nor in content”.
It is surprising that in 2023 this has to be said, but we should not rely too much on everything that is said on the Internet if we do not want to be the one who is offended by Andrés Trasado or takes El Mundo Today for granted. Nowadays, no one would want to become that person on the rebound.