What the fake news of Sophia the Robot's beheading says about how people view Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 10:07:35 AM. People on the Internet got very angry over obvious satire.
Share World Saudi Arabia artificial intelligence A satirical article claiming that Saudi Arabia beheaded its first and only robot citizen, a talking wonder of artificial intelligence named Sophia, went viral when readers failed to realize that the article was a joke. Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to Sophia during a conference held for wealthy investors in October. The move was instantly criticized as a publicity stunt, and social media users pointed out that a human resembling Sophia wouldn’t be eligible for citizenship in the conservative Sunni Muslim nation. Running with that sentiment, the satirical website Duffel Blog published an article claiming that Sophia had been beheaded for “strutting around the city without a male escort, without a hijab, fluttering her plastic eyelashes at married men while expressing opinions of her own. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now “The number of robot citizens in Saudi Arabia was reduced back to zero today after Sophia Robot was beheaded in a public square in Riyadh,” the article, which was shared over 120,000 times on social media, reads. Duffel Blog’s website clearly states that it’s not meant to be taken seriously. But that didn’t stop people on the internet from becoming outraged at the news that the Saudi regime was once again treating a “woman” terribly and committing crimes against its own citizens. Experts say the response demonstrates how quickly people are willing to believe fake news if it confirms their...Read more
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