Out in the Open

Untruth Be Told

In a time of so-called "fake news", spin and stories going viral before people check the facts... it can be hard for any of us to know where to draw a line between what's real and what's not. But imagine how much harder it would be if you were a character in the plot. This week, Piya asks: What happens when you're caught up in an untrue story?
Kaci Hickox stands with her boyfriend Theodore Michael Wilbur as she gives a statement to the media in front of her home on October 31, 2014 in Fort Kent, Maine. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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In a time of so-called "fake news", spin and stories going viral before people check the facts... it can be hard for any of us to know where to draw a line between what's real and what's not. But imagine how much harder it would be if you were a character in the plot. This week, Piya asks: What happens when you're caught up in an untrue story?

Here are the stories from this week's episode...

False hijab attack jeopardizes real work being done to end violence against Muslim women

Last summer, Sidrah Ahmad published her master's thesis about violence against Muslim women in Toronto. When news broke that an 11-year-old girl had her hijab cut with scissors, she shared the story widely, feeling vindicated that her work's focus was being made visible. And then, police announced the attack did not, in fact, happen. Sidrah speaks with Piya about feeling embarrassed and worried that one false story could discredit all of the other true ones.

'I wasn't even seen as a human': Nurse wrongly painted as public threat during height of Ebola scare

After returning home to the United States from West Africa at the height of the Ebola scare, nurse Kaci Hickox was quarantined and confined to her house. After testing negative for the disease, she defied the conditions, inviting the ire of politicians, media and the public. She speaks with Piya about being portrayed as a threat and a villain despite the evidence in her favour.

She was ready to deploy to Iraq, but doubts about WMDs made her leave the military instead

Shawna Foster was excited to serve her country in the Iraq War as a nuclear, biological and chemical weapons specialist. But her unit never deployed. And after she learned that the war had been started on the false pretense that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq, she left the military, feeling shaken and ashamed.

No one is safe from being scammed

Lindsay Shedden helped raise money for a friend who claimed to have cancer. Wayne Cook agreed to appeals for money from a woman he met while online dating. Neither of them knew at the time that they were being scammed. They reflect on their conflicted feelings of being taken advantage of... and how it can happen to anyone.

A doctor diagnosed her with cancer... and she proved him wrong

After a routine visit to her doctor, Karen Davidson Zachary was found to have extremely low red and white blood cell counts. Soon after, she was diagnosed with blood cancer. After getting past denial and shock, Karen began saying goodbye to her loved ones... and doing her own research about her symptoms. She explains how she found out her terminal diagnosis was wrong.

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