Fake News, the BBC and a Papua New Guinea Tribe

Apr 12, 2018

Considered to be a bastion of truth, the BBC appears to have filmed a documentary with some fake news in it! Is it any wonder that the general public seek more and more to verify what they hear and see?

100ft high treehouses

In 2011, one episode of a series broadcast by the BBC, ‘Human Planet’, featured a Papua New Guinea, cannibalistic tribe called the ‘Korowai’.  The tribe lives deep in the jungle. It was alleged that they lived in treehouses that were constructed in trees, 100 feet high. Indeed viewers saw them climbing up to their lofty ‘homes’.

It transpired that the episode was staged. This was discovered by another film crew working for BBC2 on a different documentary. Members of the tribe confessed that the high treehouses were “commissioned for filming”.  Describing the homes as constructed for “the benefit of overseas programme makers”, none of the tribe lived in them.

Since the fake news was discovered, the BBC stated their coverage of the tribe relating to living in the treehouses was “not accurate”.  Many of us might conclude it was a lie. The broadcaster also indicated it had “strengthened our mandatory training for all staff in editorial guidelines, standards and values.”

Fake news in the jungle

Lie Detector Test UK delved a little deeper into the Korowai tribe and found that even in the depths of the Papua New Guinea rain forest fake news is present.

Effectively the tribe is a tourist attraction.  Those subscribing to a visit are always told that it is the first time the tribe has witnessed other humans.  Members of the Korowai carry out duties using primitive tools that they don’t use when there are no tourists around.

They are no longer cannibals and use the money they are paid for tourism and documentaries to buy modern tools, cigarettes and other luxuries.

They do live in houses built on stilts above the sago swamps but nothing like the height of the fake treehouses. Below is a fascinating documentary about a remote tribe that has learned how to reap the benefits of the west. At the same time, they are able to maintain their culture and customs. You can learn more about these fascinating people from the video below:

In the overall concept of things, a white lie about an interesting tribe might not seem so bad.  However, when there is so much fake news being aimed at us via the internet and the media people often become sceptical of what they watch or read.

Lie Detector Test

The truth is getting more difficult to find and this may explain why the lie detector industry is so busy at present.  We feel polygraph popularity will continue until scientists invent a truth pill that forces people to be honest.  Wouldn’t that be a valuable commodity every time a politician or world leader is interviewed?

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