A couple of days before, some malicious content went viral on social media claiming that batsman Suresh Raina has passed away in a road accident.
However, this not something new, as in the past we have witnessed several such instances, where fake was spread to instill disquiet in the society such as usage of spying chip in the newly introduced 2000 rupees note, fake cases of mob lynchings forwarded on WhatsApp, and the most recent being the one on Trump’s resignation.
Such pseudo news stories are highly sensitive in nature, as they often result in far-reaching consequences. This is a serious threat to the democratic set up of our country, which ensures freedom of speech and expression to each one of its citizens. As general elections are nearing, we may come across many propaganda fake news pieces.
India has been ranked first in a survey conducted by Microsoft across 22 countries on fake news. According to the survey, as many as 64 % of the Indians have encountered fake news as against the global average of 57 %.
It is high time that the social media platforms, the concerned ministry and the civil society as a whole come up with a pragmatic solution to tackle the menace of fake news. The stakeholders can learn a thing or two from the Kashmiri youth who developed a website called “Stop Fake in Kashmir“, in September 2018. The website will act as a watchdog to keep a check on unverified news circulated on the social media where users can upload a link or screenshot of the news they want to verify.