Today, evolving technology has made our life a lot easier than before. It has become a basic need for today’s generation. Like every other thing in the world, technology has its own good and bad. However, it totally depends on how a user wants to use it. Being responsible for the information we share on social media will avoid spam and false news. Many of us will forward any messages, links without any fact-checking. This way, we are indirectly helping some malicious person accomplish their intentions of creating panic or provoking violence.
Recently, messages about a gang of child kidnappers have been doing rounds on social media. It has resulted in the deaths of people in Assam and Jharkhand. Later, police found that the incidents were triggered by morphed videos and photos.
Similarly, another WhatsApp message about salt shortage triggered panic buying in markets past midnight in 2016 and caused a four-fold price rise in some parts of the country.
Many more false messages like our national anthem being awarded as best in the world by UNESCO, discontinuation of free messages on WhatsApp, GPS chips in currency notes etc. have also been circulated.
During election time, tons of messages get circulated regarding candidates of various parties, most of them are not true. Even messages, photos of famous personalities go viral on the internet which end up being false.
Fake news is common on Facebook too. Posts which say that forwarding that message will donate money to children suffering from cancer, heart surgery or any serious illness, or that commenting on some post will verify your account are all fake.
While social media companies are trying to come up with solutions to tackle false messages, it’s our responsibility as social media users to do a fact-check before forwarding it. A simple Google search will give you lots of information. There are also programmes on news platforms which fact-check viral messages and give clarifications. If you don’t have time for research, then at least don’t forward the message.
One more concern on social media is about ‘good morning’ messages. According to research done by Google, these morning messages are freezing up smartphones and crashing WhatsApp’s servers. Let’s spare a minute to write a personal morning message instead of forwarding images of sun-kissed flowers, adorable toddlers, birds etc.
Let’s be responsible and make web life easy!