#Personal – This is how I explained #FakeNews concept to my 9 years old son

Hi !

Today is a different kind of post. It all begins when my 9 years old son asked me:

What is Fake New ?

I was kind of surprised. I still don’t know where he gets the idea, but it was a nice time to try to explain this to him.

So, after 1 years living in Canada, Valentino has already changed his main hobby: from soccer to Ice Hockey. Right now, he is all about NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs and more. However, during the past 9 years, we were all about soccer, so I used one example on this to explain the concept of Fake News. I shared with him this

I shared with him this Facebook publication from March 26th:


I’ll translate the text from Spanish:

“Player JOHAN CRUYFF died the on March 24, 2017. He was the greatest Dutch player in his generated and he refused to play the Argentina World Cup on 1978, to refuse the massive violation of human rights performed the dictatorship of Videla. He refuses to play as a sign of respect of the missing RIP”

In the original text, there was plenty of ugly typing errors. I make my best in the translation to keep the original idea. And, almost 80% of the publication is fake/false facts. In example, JC died on 2016, so it all start with a big difference. And, Johan Cruyff didn’t go to Argentina World Cup on 1978 for very different reasons (see references).

Important: It is important to make it clear that dictatorships, wherever they are, are a BIG PIECE OF SHIT. And we should do everything we can to put an end to them. A 5 second signature on change.org or publication share on Facebook will not help anything or anyone.

Let me go back to the story, I grew up with this idea, with the belief that the better Dutch Player in history did not travel to Argentina in 1978 in opposition to the dictatorship. So, back in 2008, when I listen to a radio interview with Johan Cruyff in  Radio Catalonia, with the real reasons, I gave plenty to think about. The reasons which motivated Johan Cruyff to not travel to Argentina were completely different. He had suffered a family kidnapping in Barcelona and “he had the head on another side”. A couple of quotes

Cruyff told Radio Cataluyna that the attempt occurred in Barcelona in 1977. “I had a rifle at my head, I was tied up, my wife tied up, the children were in the apartment in Barcelona,” he said.

“To play a World Cup you have to be 200%,” said Cruyff. “There are moments when there are other values in life.”

So, that’s the real story behind Johan Cruyff. However, the following part is what is really scary in the current times.

Until today, this Facebook publication has been shared more than 16800 times.


That is something to think about. Over 16000 people have shared a false story., in only 2 or 3 days. And, another important detail here: the source of this news has not been a celebrity, or someone famous, is a regular person of a town in Argentina (regular like me, a normal one).

Now let’s try to imagine what can happen when a person with a million followers share a fake new, I really don’t want to go there. At this time Valentino asked me

Why people share something what is false?

And I took the opportunity to remind him that the Internet is a place where we see many different things and not all are correct/right / true … A good exercise sometimes is to validate what are we reading, see if there is a 2nd opinion or check the sources, etc…

Here the conversation turned into facing the dangers of the Internet, what we should do with platforms like Facebook, SnapChat, etc. I will save you the next part of the conversation.

So I hope you get the point. And also, this post gives me an excuse to write another one tomorrow or later this week, about the Internet Tech portals like Xataka, Gizmodo, etc.; how editors are working, the Copy & Paste of news, and the lack of serious opinions that exist in the technology world.

Disclaimer: I have chosen a soccer story with a very little scope to showcase my point. Today, it is very easy to go to a Twitter celebrity and see how some of them shoot a lot of “Fake News” to us. And how this Fake News path are growing in an incredible way. Also, I have to clarify that I contacted the person who published the post at Facebook, and I shared with her the mistakes. As usual, I never had a response on her part.

Greetings @ Toronto

El Bruno

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