Ni2news: Do not believe anything you read

Georgian youngsters launched a wacko blog called “Ni2news” several weeks back. And sure enough it was not long before the site had taken the Web by storm. With the goal to misinform and mislead, the blog’s name is short for “Niori,” or “garlic” in Georgian.

Chief editor of the satirical news outlet Dodka told Georgia Today that Ni2news is a misinformation agency specializing in disseminating false news.

Here are a few takes from their site:

“The Center for Friendship between Georgians and Russians appeals to the public with a new initiative. Head of the center Kartlos Gamtsemlidze has informed the people about the opening of a Georgian-Russian swingers club.”

Or, how about,

“The Georgian government looks forward to the genocide of the Georgian nation.”

Dodka told Georgia Today that she came up with the idea for the blog while watching the Onion News.

“I got the idea after watching the Onion News,” she said. “I put the idea off until the April 9 protests, but then a lot of funny things started happening. Georgian magazines and newspapers were delivering news that normal people would just never believe. But many Georgians believed the information – however absurd it might have been – and that is why I thought it was the perfect time to create the blog.”   

Ni2news blogger Saba Lekveishvili, also known as Sabunia, said the site aims to, “Lie to people, cool down the situation and show people their stupidity.”

He added that he loves all the stories published on Ni2news, especially articles that carry weight among readers and force them to believe in the “anti-facts.” His favorite section of the site is the blog’s “Top 10 Georgian ###.”

The “###” clearly denotes something vulgar, and the section lists the top 10 misdoings and mishaps of society and politicians from any and all backgrounds, Sabunia said.

While reading the blog, some readers may think the authors have carefully studied the West’s top news satirists such as Monty Python, Onion News and The Day Today. But Sabunia denied the notion and said Ni2news still has a lot to learn and lacks the bravery indicative of all great reality-based comedians.

He added that Ni2news more closely resembles the Georgian Asaval-Dasavali newspaper than Monty Python, which despite its cordial language manages to publish news that makes readers chuckle, while carrying weight among the Georgian society. 

But Internet blogging can be both positive and negative, Sabunia told Georgia Today, and Ni2news is no exception.

Blogging is comfortable as authors can update their sites from anywhere in the world, Sabunia said, adding that he is in New York himself at the moment.

Sabunia said that approximately 20,000 people have read the Ni2news blog. Although the number is high for the Georgian Internet, the Ni2news team knows they cannot spread their misinformation to a wider global audience.

Dodka agrees and regrets that Ni2news still cannot compare and challenge even Asaval-Dasavali.

Although most news on Ni2news is of a political character, other, less weighty subjects can also be found.

For instance, one feature analyzes Georgian street slang and swearing, and implies that the language is not brutal and aggressive, but rather effeminate and “outright homosexual.” 

Dodka added that Ni2news publishes satirical stories and the fact that many Georgians believe the features are true, and that they have sparked discussions in society, means that many things about modern Georgia are a sham.

Dodka said she regrets that she cannot track the results of these discussions and does not know for sure just how far Ni2news stories are spreading throughout society.

Ni2news is now functioning on a Georgian domain as well at: http://www.ni2news.ge

Make sure to double-check the facts before believing…

The article was published as a free lance work for “Georgia Today,” June 19, 2009 issue.

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