ESSAY ON FAKE NEWS
‘Fake news’ or fabricated news is a type of yellow journalism that consists of news, stories or hoaxes created deliberately to misinform or deceive readers. It can be created by individuals or groups who are acting on their own interests or those of third parties. Fake news is written and published with the intent to influence public views in order to gain financially or politically.
Once present in print and digital media, the advent of social media has changed the ways fake news is created and spread. The sheer vastness of internet and social media users makes the tracing of fake news almost impossible. False information can deceive people by looking like a trusted website.
Fake news can easily proliferate, particularly in times of political turbulence and instability. For example, misinformation related to COVID-19 pandemic about possible home remedies was widely circulated. Fake social media messages linked to false rumors resulted in mob lynchings.
Disseminating of false information especially through social media platforms is ushering a dangerous trend in the society. It can create rifts between various communities, castes and religion. Fake news can reduce the impact of real news. Political parties try to get advantage by polarizing voter’s mind. It weakens our democratic set up. It reduces people’s faith in social, print and electronic media.
To counter fake news, government must spread awareness about its legal and social consequences. It must also take strict action against the fake news providers. The artificial intelligence technologies must be leveraged to combat this problem. We must avoid sharing false news stories. Mainstream as well as social media must be made accountable for spreading false information. Thus fake news has great implications on the society. Corrective steps must be taken to ensure distinction between news, opinion and rumor.