October 18, 2017

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AFP journalists prohibited from using Facebook, Wikipedia as sole sources

AFP journalists prohibited from using Facebook, Wikipedia as sole sources

After a spoof site on Facebook fooled a number of news outlets, the London bureau of the French Press Agency (Agence France Presse – AFP) has prohibited reporters from using Facebook or Wikipedia as independent news sources. Journalists may still utilize information gleaned from online or “virtual” sources, but such information must be fact-checked in other, “more reliable” sources.
The incident that triggered the move was a fake profile of Benazir Bhutto’s son—Bilawal Bhutto Zardari—on Facebook. A number of major news outlets, including the London Telegraph, Canada’s Globe and Mail, and the aforementioned Agence France Presse all quoted portions of the fake [profile](http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/prankster-playing-bhuttos-son-on-facebook-fools-news-outlets/?hp) in articles. The 19 year old son of the assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is a student at Oxford University. He was recently named as the replacement party chairman to the Pakistan Peoples Party.

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