A madness that takes hold of some young people and adults using the networks; the cases and the ages are incredible.
A teenager pretended to have terminal cancer to get gifts from charities. How to know if everything we see on the networks is true?
In recent months, several frauds were detected by people who pretend to have terminal illnesses to raise money, as was the case of the Spanish girl. Now, a new event shakes the authorities. A 19-year-old British boy photographed himself with his head shaved and lying in a hospital bed to receive donations from charities.
Eli Stewart had been lying about his health for 12 years and, claiming that he suffered from lung and stomach cancer, had managed to get the Clutha Trust Foundation to give him an electric guitar valued at more than a thousand euros. The founder of the organization claimed that the young man had told them that he was terminally ill and had 6 months to live.
The young man had revealed that after a study on his knee, doctors discovered that he suffered from lung and stomach cancer. Eli used social networks to show the evolution of his disease, and was shown singing with his guitar and with his shaved head to give credibility to the story.
However, when the foundation became suspicious after insistent requests by the young man for more gifts, they asked him to send the foundation a letter certified by a doctor endorsing the disease. When they contacted the doctor who supposedly had signed the endorsement, the professional claimed that she had not signed the certificate, and that she was unaware of the patient. From the Facebook page of the foundation they issued a statement lamenting the fact and clarifying the misunderstanding.
How much is true and how much false on the internet? Keys to unraveling the lies
This unfortunate event, where a young man plays with people’s beliefs, marks the power of conviction that the internet and social networks have. The web is a sea of knowledge, one centimeter deep. We have information everywhere, but only consciously and objectively can we see what is true in what is said.
Of course, it is not our mission to unravel if someone who says they have cancer is really sick, but we must always go to the sources; investigate where the information comes from; Finding out if there is more news or sources that mention it are some of the keys to keep in mind so as not to fall into “false news.” It is difficult to resist a story that wants to be told, but if we take our precautions when checking that information, we can get out of the information trap that lurks the Internet unscathed.