- NL Sena
From a handle called "News Line IFE" to a television screen near you.
As the news broke this afternoon of a violent face-off between India and China, several media houses reported that the Indian army had suffered three casualties. No firing took place, the reports added.
Soon after, several news outlets and channels reported that five Chinese soldiers had been killed, and 11 injured. This included the UK-based Daily Express, which decided to take it up a notch with this astonishing headline.
Other news outlets and top anchors were quick to react too.
Someone even updated the Wikipedia page on the "2020 China-India skirmishes" to show five casualties on the Chinese side.
But where did this report even come from?
They were based on a tweet by Wang Wenwen, whose Twitter bio says she is a chief reporter and opinion writer at Global Times.
Wang Wenwen, in turn, said her news source was "News Line IFE", a Twitter handle that purports to "deliver the news that matters". When messaged, "News Line IFE" told Newslaundry they prefer to remain "anonymous".
Here's the tweet that seems to have started it all.
Confusingly, "News Line IFE" also claimed that "Asia News" had confirmed the four casualties. Except that Asia News, a Bangkok-based site, cited Wang Wenwen herself as its source.
Meanwhile, Wang Wenwen's employer Global News, a Chinese news organisation, had to tweet a clarification. The editor-in-chief of Global News also tweeted that the Chinese side had suffered casualties, but did not specify how many.
At the end of the day, while real tension is unfolding at the border, all sources lead to Twitter.