Umm Al Quwain - Maid kidnaps girl in UAE: Police quash fake news

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The Umm Al Quwain Police have denied reports about an Ethiopian housemaid being involved in kidnapping an expatriate girl.

"Such posts on social media are baseless and fabricated," they said, urging the public not to share such news before verifying the source.

"Sharing rumours and false statements is a criminal offence that is punishable by law with a fine of up to Dh1 million."

Most rumours come from people and organisations who want to boost their following on social media, they added.

"Many rumours sought to tarnish the UAE's reputation globally. These include purported strikes by Houthi militia at Abu Dhabi and airports," they said.

"Rumours span reports about carcinogens in popular food products available in the country; 'abandoned vehicles' in Dubai; 'murder' of a popular Moroccan singer in Dubai; 'availability of drugs' in schools; and photos that wrongly showed university students as martyrs in the Yemen war. One absurd write-up said Dubai was a ghost town, while another rumour went as far as saying that a certain 'Ruler's court' was giving money away."

Fighting the spread of rumours goes beyond denying them, they said, stressing the need for stronger awareness drives across all institutions.

How rumours spread:
> Fake news is created and spread aggressively
> 'Opinion polls' or 'studies' are quoted to lend credibility
> Fake or dated photos are spread with the rumour
> The 'news' is put on social media platforms
> Information is shared on random profiles online
> Unsuspecting residents help spread the rumours by blindly forwarding the messages without confirming it

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Ahmed Shaaban

Originally from Egypt, I am a sound professional with a 23-year diverse experience as a researcher, lecturer, instructor, reporter, journalist, copy writer, translator, interpreter, proofreader, correspondent, and voice-over specialist with so many public and private entities in USA, UAE and Egypt. I have full command of all English and Arabic languages skills. I have a “Doctorate of Business Administration” degree, Swiss Business School. I have two Master’s degrees; one in Media Sciences, Mass Communication College, Cairo University, 2014, and one in Applied Business Research, Swiss Business School, 2018. I have a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Translation, Al-Alsun College for Languages & Translation, Ain Shams University, Egypt, 1996. I have three post graduate diplomas in Education, Curricula and Instruction, and Islamic Studies. I enjoy reading, writing and adventuring.

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