Day 53 – Q 2.Social media platforms have become a major source of fake news and propaganda. Do you agree? How does it threaten peace and order in the country? How can it be addressed? Analyse.
2. Social media platforms have become a major source of fake news and propaganda. Do you agree? How does it threaten peace and order in the country? How can it be addressed? Analyse.
सोशल मीडिया प्लेटफ़ॉर्म नकली समाचार और प्रचार का एक प्रमुख स्रोत बन गया है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? यह देश में शांति और व्यवस्था को कैसे खतरे में डालता है? इसे कैसे संबोधित किया जा सकता है? विश्लेषण करें।
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.
Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word. This has, in turn, led to deliberate propaganda and clickbait articles causing disharmony in the country.
Fake News poses a security threat to peace and order in the country:
- Social rifts– Burial of real news, and spread of fake news create rifts among communities and castes and also polarize people along ideological lines. Ex. cow vigilantism
- Mob violence– Fake news of a certain person being a ‘child-lifter’ led to the death of an innocent civilian by the mob.
- Hate speech– Hate speeches are spread through communal media to incite violence.
- Riots– With fake information, it can lead to riots between two religious groups or community groups Ex. Muzaffarpur riots.
- The radicalisation of youth: The modus operandi of ISIS was the usage of social media to spread the fake and false messages and target vulnerable youth and radicalize them. Ex. The radicalisation of youth in the state of Kerala.
- Impacted morale of soldiers– Fake news like soldiers will have to spend their own money to buy uniforms and other clothes from civilian markets hurt the morale of the forces and the families of forces.
- Damage to reputation– Spreading fake news about a person, or using a picture of someone in fake news can damage the person’s reputation and even lead to harassment and intimidation. Ex. JNU doctored video.
How to address fake news problem:
- Accountability of social media– Like WhatsApp limiting forwards, other social media platforms should also have accountability to deal with such news. Social Media platforms have to filter the spread of fake news.
- Education campaign– This education campaign needs to carried out by the apps and platforms, as well as the government about the education of the do’s and don’ts, and the laws governing the conduct of participants.
- Screening– Special screening to check the use of automated software and chatbots responsible for the spread of fake news.
- Independent agency– Government appointed an agency to verify data being circulated on social platforms. Officers at the district level to be appointed to gather intelligence and closely monitor social media contents.
- Private Initiatives– like AltNews.in, Lallantop, media vigil and Debunked should be taken for a fact check of news and to pull down and debunk fake news.
- 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. People themselves must cross-check any news before reacting over it.
- Punishment– Severe punishment to be awarded for creating and spreading fake news.
- Active participation of police– Local police can be a part of the social media group to constantly check and monitor the spread of news.
Traditional media had the ways to screen material and verify sources before putting information in the public domain. But in the current world, with the prevalence of social media, we need the 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.