ITALIAN BRAND D&G apologized after being widely criticized by Chinese netizens and consumers last month because of its controversial video and the insulting words of its co-founding designer Stefano Gabbana. Yet a rumor spread online that it withdrew its apology, which proved false. China Youth Daily comments:
It is true that D&G released the controversial video on Instagram.
Yet it is not true that D&G withdrew its apology. And it is easy to check that fact: A simple look at the official micro blog account of D&G will find that the apology video of Stefano Gabbana is still there.
The article about D&G withdrawing its apology is totally fake news, but still it went viral online.
We are not sure why people fabricated the fake news, but we can guess. Those who began spreading the rumor could win numerous clicks and make a profit by publishing commercial advertisements. Especially, by pretending to be patriotic, they could easily cheat certain readers by exploiting their nationalistic sentiments.
But it is patriotism itself that has been the biggest victim because it is being manipulated by people for profit. It is worrying that in the age of new media, many media outlets are desperately pursuing "clicks" so they can survive, at the cost of facts and their own credibility.
To curb this, people need to gain the ability to distinguish the true from the false, the right from the wrong and the sensational from the rational. When they read some unconfirmed news, instead of commenting immediately, it is better to check from other sources and make sure of the facts first. That way they will not be made use of by the rumor spreaders.
People should be wary of their patriotism being manipulated and exploited to false ends, otherwise it will become a dangerous force.