Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 54 – Q 1. How severe is the problem of fake news in India? How can it be tackled?

1. How severe is the problem of fake news in India? How can it be tackled?     

भारत में फर्जी खबरों की समस्या कितनी गंभीर है? इससे कैसे निपटा जा सकता है?


Fake news, or hoax news, refers to false information or propaganda published under the guise of being authentic news. Fake news websites and channels push their fake news content in an attempt to mislead consumers of the content and spread misinformation via social networks and word-of-mouth


Severity of the problem:

  • Social rifts- Burial of real news, and spread of fake news create rifts among communities and castes and also polarize people along ideological lines.
  • Mob violence- Fake news of certain person being a ‘child-lifter’ led to the death of an innocent civilian by mob.
  • Impacted morale of soldiers- Fake news like soldiers will have to spend their own money to buy uniforms and other clothes from civilian markets had a negative impact on the morale of the forces and the families of forces.
  • International relations- Qatar’s state news agency Twitter account, Brexit referendum and U.S. Presidential elections have been the victims of fake news.
  • Damage to reputation- Spreading fake news about a person, or using picture of someone in fake news can damage the person’s reputation and even lead to harassment and intimidation.

How to tackle:

  • Accountability of social media- Like whatsapp limiting forwards, other social media platforms should also have accountability to deal with such news. 
  • Education campaign- This education campaign needs to carried out by the apps and platforms, as well as the government about education of the do’s and don’ts, and the laws governing conduct of participants.
  • Screening- Special screening to check the use of automated software and chatbots responsible for spread of fake news.
  • Independent agency- Government appointed agency to verify data being circulated on social platforms.
  • Enforcement- Platforms and Intermediaries need to comply with data access demands made under India laws by our security agencies.
  • Self-regulation and awareness- Active civil society to curb the spread of fake news.


Traditional media had the ways to screen material and verify sources before putting information in public domain. But in current world, with the prevalence of social media, we need participation of all stakeholders to ensure only the information which is true and is beneficial for the society as a whole should see the light of the day.

Best answer: LameName (For first part)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email