Fake news could likely get one killed, abused or even make nations fall apart. If not fought, it can lead to a war.
Recently, Qatari news media organizations including the prominent broadcaster Aljazeera were blocked in Saudi Arabia and UAE following reports of hackers allegedly breaking into a state-run news agency leading to tensions between the three countries.
The fake article quoted Qatar emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani calling Iran an “Islamic power” and saying that Doha has “tensions” with Trump’s administration.
Later, reports confirmed there were some “unethical people” behind the whole episode.
Fake news in today’s digital arena may lead to warfare, if not taken seriously.
Online abuses, killing people and creating tensions due to false rumors circulating on social media, messengers: it is all happening.
A day after the terror incident that killed about 22 people in Manchester, a Youtube star who revealed only his first name- John- reiterated he was one among the many being dragged into online hoax of being the victims.
In fact, a 12-year-old Australian Gemma Devine, who was safely attending school in Melbourne at the time of the attack was dragged into the hoax with her pictures being shared online. She too was the victim to fake news.
India is certainly no exception. Take for instance the issue of author Arundati Roy and BJP MP Paresh Rawal.
“Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy!”, were the words of actor-turned-BJP MP Paresh Rawal while he could not just take 5 minutes and verify the false news circulating about the author.
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Reports of a non-existent interview of Arundhati Roy supposedly given during a recent trip to Srinagar was doing the rounds where she was wrongly quoted saying, “70 lakh Indian Army cannot defeat Azadi gang in Kashmir” to a Pakistani newspaper. This news was first published by a fake right wing website called Postcard.news.
This is just one instance of fake news abuse and certainly is not the end.
Now, how can we resolve the issue?
Media organizations and even corporate giants like Google and Facebook have been making efforts to address the problem but none of their strategies even remotely would solve the issue.
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BBC plans to give out “slow news”, a tactic to fight fake news besides having about 2,000 journalists working on the breaking news section. This certainly would not come in the way of fighting fake news.
Facebook’s efforts by flagging false stories- which often takes too long- and teaching people to spot sketchy pieces, which again is putting a lot of faith in users, were in vain.
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Last month, Google announced its first attempt to combat the circulation of “fake news”
Last month, Google announced its first attempt to combat the circulation of “fake news” on its search engine by introducing new tools that allow users to report misleading or offensive content, and a pledge to improve results generated by its algorithm. This effort can somewhat control the damage provided a reader is smart enough to identify fake news.
A humungous number of software organizations have been working to identify fake news reports, videos, messages circulated not only on Twitter, Facebook but also WhatsApp.
Experts in India say it is because of the increasing number of media organizations giving biased news that fake websites have gained traction.
A stringent regulation on information or news must be done before the information is published on any kind of digital platforms.
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