I believe that all of us have contributed to (and even created) fake news at some point in our lives. We have twisted facts, added some extra ones, eliminated some bits, and sometimes, simply lied about an event to make the tale more interesting, spicy, intriguing, simply for personal benefits.
This form of storytelling is heavily exploited on social media. While anything and everything can be made into fake news, here are some instances where it has really led to misery:
1. Recently, fake news of child-lifters (circulated on social media) in Assam and other states has resulted in the death of several people.
2. Communal violence has risen due to the spread of fake news.
3. Political illiteracy among people is rising. In most cases, fake news shows them only what the establishment wants them to see and not the truth (or even a version of it)
So what role can we play to ensure that fake news is abolished?
Firstly, let’s ask ourselves: have we shared anything without verifying the facts? If yes, we are all wrongdoers.
It takes a simple Google search to verify the facts. Alt News is a very fine news website that works against fake propaganda. See their stories to check out the real facts. If there are other websites, please mention them in the comment section.
Now if we get to know that a particular page has shared fake news, what do we do? Do we still follow the page? Congratulations, we are again the wrongdoers. Keep it up.
Now come the propaganda pages. Almost all my friends follow some kind of propaganda page. Propaganda pages are meant to produce the version of the truth that suits the party they are affiliated to. Let me ask a simple question: can it be true that the current government has done no good and simply wasted our money?
Answer: Any government will at least do some work to show people after 5 years.
At the same time, can it be true that all the criticism aimed at the current government is wrong?
Answer: No, the criticisms are quite solid.
Therefore, simply speaking, unfollow propaganda pages.
Now, in the last segment of this article, I would like to raise another question: how do we react to any fake propaganda or news spread by our friends?
The ideal response to this should be a comment with proper links to authentic news articles. We must not ignore such news as most people do. It is our responsibility to educate people stuck in the whirlpool of propaganda so that they can help educate themselves and be free from this whirlpool.
If you have any more ideas, please share them in the comments.