Fake news story prompts Pakistan to make nuclear threat against Israel

A fake news story prompted Pakistan to threaten another nation with nuclear weapons on Friday, reports the New York Times.

The country's defense minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, noted in a tweet, "Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too..."

As it turns out the tweet followed a fake piece by awdnews.com. Its headline read, "Israeli Defense Minister: If Pakistan send ground troops into Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack."

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The story had numerous errors including the wrong name for the current Israeli defense minister.

On Saturday, Israel clarified via a tweet that the story was "entirely false."

However, the New York Times reports, "Mr. Asif did not respond to the Israelis on Twitter, and as of Saturday his message had been reposted nearly 400 times. Many of the people reacting to Mr. Asif on Twitter mocked him for his mistake."

Amid the rapid rise of fake news on social media, many prominent political and business leaders have called for an immediate need to address the dissemination of false information.

President Obama recently commented on the issue during a press conference, "If we are not serious about facts and what's true and what's not, if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems."