Today is becoming a difficult task to distinguish between real news and fake news to every individual. These days the social media and the traditional media has been flooded with fake news making it more pain taking task for an individual to notice the right one.
Fake news can be defined as a form of news with deliberate disinformation spread over traditional media or modern social media. Today it is more popularly noticed as Yellow Journalism.
The menace of fake news is more seen particularly during the elections time where the political parties and their supporters use social media and traditional media to spread rumours and fake news against the opposition. Recently during the 2019 general elections, Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhamaan became a prey for political parties as there was a wide spread of news that he is a supporter of BJP ,which later found to be fake.
Sometimes a fake news may create chaos among the people and leads to violent protests. This can be substantiated with the recent incident that happened in India. After the abrogation of Article-370,there was a news regarding expulsion of Muslim students from educational Universities across the nation that reached all corners of the country. This has resulted in mass protests against the police officers and the government in support of students. But there were no such incidents reported in any part of the country.
More recently, the ongoing Hongkong protests has seen violence and resulted in death and injuries to many people just because of a fake news which stated that a student was not allowed to go to hospital after he was beaten up by police and was dead. This created unrest among the people and led to severe violence.
Apart from these there are many instances where peace and security of the nation was in danger. Two months back I came across a news article where there was an unrest among the Hindu community in the India due to a fake news spread regarding demolition of a hindu temple in a civil protest.
Today I had came across a news that novel corona virus is transmitted through physical contact or droplets that causes infection which is against to the assumption that it spreads through any food items as social media claims.
Today it became very easy to spread a news which is fake due to people’s acceptance to such news without clearly knowing about it roots. People are not using their scientific temper and lost their spirit of enquiry in identifying the misinformation and are blindly believing in what they see or hear.
Measures taken up to curb it’s flow :
Many efforts were being taken up by the supreme court and the central government to curb the flow of such news by issuing guidelines to the heads of social media.
As a reply to the petition filed by advocate Aswini Kumar Dubey, the supreme court has asked the government to come up with guidelines to bring laws against spread of fake news through instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms.
1.Social media platforms like whatsapp, instagram, Facebook etc had came up with Fast – Checking program to curb the wide spread of fake news at the beginning itself.
2.Maharashtra State Cyber Police has collaborated with a start-up called Logically in order to prevent spread of such fake news during elections in 2019 and had achieved a noticeable success in doing so.
3.The Collector of Kannur in Kerala had came up with an interesting solution to curb fake news which reached every corner of the city about children’s death due to vaccinations. He has started a programme called Satyameva Jayate 2.0 through which he educated teachers and there by students who took mass rallies to clear the stigma among the people. This was a great success as students and people started to know about the source of the information which they get in social media.
Apart from these there is a need to have a strict law to punish those who passes fake information among the people. There is a lot to be done from the side of public not to fall prey for such news and have to enquire about the source of the information, authenticity,and whether there is any use with forwarding such news or not and many which have to be taken care by the people while passing any information.