01 Feb Fake news prevention on Social Media: How reliable is it to believe?
The history holds many records (speaking of Social media and freedom of speech and inter-relationship of social media & Fake news) of dissemination of MIS-Information. Fake News also can be considered as the trash news. Why? Well because it doesn’t have to do anything with the authentic facts/figures, in fact, the fake news is broadcasted with the aim to mislead an individual or a group of people. Also, the term “misinformation” means the same — spreading misleading information to influence people. Highly sensational and dishonest headlines are the major highlights of fake news. It is (often) because it focuses mainly only to fabricate the information and sound biased so much so that it could influence the decision making of any individual who would get into the details of a story.
By far, we got an idea about what Fake News is and how it impacts the people. Let us now get into a little more detail. The importance of Fake News even before the 21st century was considered based on its ability to promote propaganda issues to influence an individual’s decision. In the 21st century, the rise of Social media (where on the one hand) gave rise to freedom of speech across the globe; it also served itself like a full plate of a meal for the Fake News or “Propaganda” based misinformation. The high altitude of Fake news is often witnessed during the elections (shattering the fragile democracy). The recent 2016 US election controversy brought many names in the limelight and highlighted the fact that the fake news might have completely biased and influenced people to vote for Donald Trump.
Another major issue revolving around the Fake News is, it is difficult to find the exact source of data and information and that the authentication of information always stays vague (just like the case of 2016 US Presidential election). Social Media platform has helped people across the globe to share their views on everything publicly. The era of viral news (most of the times) helps the fake story to get the most attention in real time. The prevention of Fake News comes out as a significant concern for the citizens. The people who favor freedom of speech might consider fake news prevention as the restriction to the use of social media. On the other hand, the people advocating false news prevention might see it as the most secure move towards an informed society.
As an individual, it becomes our responsibility to do what is utilitarian. There is no doubt that the social media tops the list in the dissemination of news information. The rise of fake news itself went so viral that it started ruining the image of social media platform, which led to Social Media giants like Facebook and WhatsApp to curate advertisements to instruct people (highlighting its features) the smart and sensible use of the applications and motivate them to start acting as responsible citizens of the nation. Now the leaders and social activists are initiating movements to spread awareness about the harm it can cause to people as a group or even as an individual.
On one side where several Social media platforms are taking care of fake news prevention (in their way), it becomes imperative to know what our government is doing about it. What do you think?
Should the government regulate social media sites, as a means to prevent fake news and misinformation?