Monday, February 12, 2018

Fake News After Indian PM Modi's Visit to UAE

Ignorant and over-excited people are present in all religions.

Frankly speaking, there may be nothing wrong in my swelling with pride, when people-with-great-power suddenly say good things about my religion.

There may be nothing wrong in my becoming over-enthusiastic,  when celebrities - convert to, or endorse, my religion.

But I think everything is wrong --- if I start forwarding messages and videos favouring my religion or my views without verifying.

Real seekers of ‘truth’ are careful. Very careful. They check, double check, and – sometimes- triple check, before forwarding information to others.

Mobile phone technology with the Internet has become a dangerous thing. Especially, in the hands of the less-informed and the over-passionate.

Just because a bearded Arab man, in a thobe, has said ‘Jai Siya Ram’, his video cannot be forwarded saying that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi has said it during the Hindu Temple's foundation. You cannot. Unless you are very very sure that the man who said it was really really the Crown Prince.

Just because a cute young boy is seen reciting a lot of verses from the Bible, his video cannot be forwarded saying he is UK’s Prince George. And that he is being taught scriptures well. You cannot. Unless you are very very sure the boy was really really Prince George.

Mobile phone technology with the Internet has become a wonderful thing, too. You can easily search for, find faces, read news items, and find out for yourself -- if what you are forwarding is really true.

We do not have many ways, of verifying the truth, other than going to recognized and reputed news websites.

But, sadly, we are facing problems here too. When some news websites hire very young men and women, with no appropriate training in professional journalism. Things can go wrong.

Even news-websites are seen giving needless credence to social media posts that have gone viral.

And then there is a new wave of strategic and systematic promotion of falsehoods, misinformation, fake stories, and abusive trolling, which we should strongly fight against.

Truth is Truth. And as consumers of truth, we must hold all official news channels, newspapers and news websites accountable. And as users of social media apps, we must refuse to participate in the spread of falsehoods.

We must not give up our fight for what is the truth; even in the face of the continuous onslaught of doctored viral videos and fake stories.

Let us continue to fight against the spread of Internet Rumour. And against viral forwards of hoaxes and myths.

Even, 'Times Now' and 'Zee News' carried the news and tweeted the misinformation

We can understand if 'Postcard' does it because it is becoming an expert at this. But even these news channels????