BY : MS. PALLAVI SHARMA
Fake news (also known as junk news, pseudo-news, or hoax news) is a form of news consisting of purposeful not correct news or hoaxes spread via long-established news media (print and broadcast) or latest online social media 1 . Digital news has increased the usage of false news, or yellow journalism. It is that type of news that does not report much real news with facts. It uses shocking headlines that only catch people’s attention to watch that news.
Fake news is written and published usually with the intention to give the wrong impression about or in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using scandalous, untruthful, or complete fictional headlines to increase readers interest. Such attractive headlines and advertisement earn lot of revenue through increasing graph TRP(Television Rating Point) of that news.
The significance of fake news has increased in post-truth politics. For media centers, the importance to attract viewers to their websites is necessary to generate online advertising revenue. Displaying or telling a story with false content that attracts viewer’s benefits advertisers and improves ratings.
According to many journalists it is said that spreading of fake news in India are more sophisticated in comparison to other countries of west. The damage rate has increased in past few years, this is just because of increase in no or internet users. In 2012 there are just 137 million of internet users in India whereas in 2019 there were more than 600 million of users. Also according to the surveys India is one of the market hub for Whatsapp platform over 230 million users, which plays the vital role in spreading fake news.
Here are a few examples of fake news and how they are viewed:
- Sloppy journalism
- Misleading headings
- Biased or slanted news
These are features of fake news and may help to identify and avoid instances of fake news 2
- Clickbait:- These are stories that are intentionally made-up to gain more website viewers and increase advertising revenue for websites. Click bait stories are melodramatics with sensational headlines that always attracts the visitors on the expense of truth and accuracy.
- Propoganda:- News or Stories that are created to intentionally give the wrong impression to the audiences, promote a unfair point of view or exacting political cause or agenda.
- Satire/parody:- Lots of websites and social platforms accounts publish fake news stories just to have entertainment and fun.
- Sloppy Journalism:-Many a times reports or journalist publish a news without any reliable information or without checking all the facts related to the news which can mislead the audiences.
- Misleading Headings:- Stories which are not completely false but with a sensational headlines it may become misleading news. These types of news spread quickly on social media where just the headlines and few points of the article is been displayed rather then full article.
- Biased/ Slanted News:– Many people just view such news which confirms their own beliefs and biases. On social media people display such news or article which they think all will like based on their personalized searches.
Few Latest Examples of Fake News :
Wrong Information related to the coronavirus spread through social media only like one of the Political activist Swami Chakrapani and Member of the Legislative Assembly Suman Haripriya claimed that drinking cow urine and applying cow dung on the body can cure COVID-19 which was further criticized by the chief scientist of WHO Soumya Swaminathan. Many Mis leading information related to the COVID-19 was spread on social platforms like during Janta Curfew, life of the virus is just 12 hours so rem 3 aining at home for 14 hrs will break the chain of the virus. After 24 th March declaration for the help of needy people there were rumors that lockdown could be extended but to stop the rumors the cabinet secretary claim that there is no such plan.
- Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019
The Supreme Court of India asked central government of India about the plea for publicizing the aim, objectives and benefits of CAA(Citizenship Amendment Act) to wave out fake news that was being circulated on the issue. The plea lawyer stated that he visited Jamia and Seelampur where 95% of protestors don’t know about CAA and they feel like their citizenship will taken back by this law. This was just because of the fake news about CAA.
Around 5000 social media videos were by Pakistan to spread false and fake news against the CAA. And from Indian side around 1500 experts are working to identify the fake news related to CAA on twitter, facebook, helo, tik tok etc.The Indian Ministry of External Affairs called many states security agencies like Bangalore, Assam, Delhi etc to have continues monitor on social media for misinformation being spread related to violence at Jamia Millia Islamia in relation to CAA.
- Indian General Election 2019
There was much Misleading information during 2019 elections, which were totally fake and was totally unauthorized. Wrong information was widespread at all levels of society during the campaigning duration in the election. It was spread that this election will be India’s first WhatsApp elections”, where Whatsapp is being used as tool by many outsiders or terrorist agency.
India has more than 22 languages and it’s become quite impossible to check all the language operated facebook or other online platform regularly during the time of elections. Still many were under the inspection whereas many left as sindhi, odia, kannada etc. Facebook also support India agencies and deleted 1 million accounts a day which also include accounts who spread misleading information.
- Kashmir or Article 370
Wrong Information or fake news related to Kashmir were widely spread during the confirmation or passing the article 370 in the state. Many Pictures were displayed during the instances which were originally from Syrian or from Iraqi civil war. They were displayed just to enhance the Kashmir conflict. There were many cases or instances which all were affected because of Fake news or morphed pictures. Such types of news affect the society or the image or worse up the situation.
Effects of Fake News on Society :
“Fake news is not new, it has been around for centuries, but the technical tools that exist today, coupled with increasing distrust of the mainstream media, have proved to be logarithmic multipliers of the potential of false information.”
Fake news are not just happening now a days they are the facts of centuries but now a days the technology which is being used for misleading information are very fast. Through this platform the misleading information can be send six time faster than the normal news. This misleading information can impact on different ways like:
- Impact on Health: If there is a hoax news related to the particular item to intake during a particular time and user or viewer start doing the same then it will effect to his/ her health. For example Cow urine during covid 19 can give you other many health issues.
- Racist Idea: Such type of fake news or hoax news build fear factor in the mind of the citizen. People don’t trust anyone else or any other religion who may be their neighbor from last many years. For example during the riot in Seelampur neighbors ware fighting as they belongs to different community.
- Fear: People don’t feel safe at one place due to misleading information related to the community or place were going on. Like in Kashmir people feel unsafe to live over there after 2016 riots by local teenagers. Many families who all were financial strong migrate from there because of fear only.
- Bullying and violence against innocent person: False rumors or video many a times build any persons or individuals character. Through such type of activity an individual get harassed or face bullying in society. Individual may be targeted through insults and threats which he/ she may face and many a time his family too. Like few years back there was a case Jasleen Vs Sarvjeet Singh where because of Jasleen’s misleading information ruined life of Sarvjeet Singh who lost his job and other opportunity, cannot move outside India and his family also faces much insult in society.
- Democratic Impacts: To whom I should vote? Such type of questions arises in every citizen’s mind after the misleading videos or clips or information publishes in related to the candidate. It is now said that media always play important role in building any politicians image, positively or negatively in the mind of the voters. Like media plays vital role in 2014 elections in building up the positive image of Mr. Narender Modi.
Effects of various Social media like Facebook, Twitter, You-tube, Instagram and many more app are there like Whatsapp, Line, Messenger etc give us many reason to work upon on this fake news series. In this era we all are connected with some or the other type of social media platform, from where we always get daily basis news or updates. We come to know about the daily news like human trafficking, women’s equality, environment crisis, ups & downs in the field of political, social, economical, cultural environment. In last two decades social media plays important role in filling up the gap between the cultural. It provides us all the information within the matter of seconds. But now as fake news scholars are heading up their heads for doing illegal activities so as users we all should remain alert in scenario. Internet in today’s world we all know always connected to internet means we all are always near to our family and friend but such fake news or videos make the user in doubtful situation. User always doubts on his/her neighbors, doubt on elected leader, doubt on the living locality etc. It is always said that hoax news or videos exploit the environment of locality, which affects the society; society affects the state or union territory, which at last affect the country.
One of the most important factor of increase in numbers of fake news/ video/ misleading information is that all the users of social platform don’t have the ability to differentiate in between right and wrong. Lack of aptitude of the users through which they can check or verify about the news before sharing to anyone else, they even don’t know how such fake news is leading their mind and preparing the image or portrait in your mint related to the situation. So to avoid the situation users should verify the authenticity of the news /video/ information. Purpose of any news is just to provide the correct information to all but such fake news break the trust of the common person to whom it is reaching. As Social media is a important tool according to its reach, popularity, and intensity related to the information transformed from one place to another. So there should be double check or double edge sword for any type of information transformed. Fake news is always a threat for any country in the world which should be checked collectively, it’s not an individual person or country’s effort to come out from such type of web.
- https://www.linklaters.com/en/insights/publications/crisis-ready/crisis-ready/tackling-erosion-of-trust-and-the- spread-of-fake-news/the-impact-of-fake-news