Social media with fake posts create fear psychosis but fake news and IDs are like ice which melt in the heat of the truth.
Social media for news is becoming increasingly popular due to its low cost, easy access, and rapid dissemination of information but it still gives way for widespread fake news and false information.
Bogus news is intentionally written to mislead readers in believing false information which has extremely negative impacts on individuals and the society at large. It’s not just Facebook and WhatsApp but the problem also plagues other social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter.
Today, many social media are busy in manufacturing fake news. In Sikkim too, they try to create an environment of fear psychosis and unrest with harsh comments like “Sikkim is in danger”, “371F in danger”, ”Rule 4(4)”, “Sikkim-Darjeeling merger”.
People behind these fake accounts are trying to polarise the political environment to raise tension level among the innocents, and to an extent, it affects anyone who uses mobile phones and social media like Facebook or WhatsApp for news.
We tend to trust social media sometimes since it comes from someone, many whom we know well. We know that smartphones are transforming our society, but social media in smartphones are turning toxic.
In Sikkim, the by-election is approaching and political parties trying to win the election are manufacturing news to keep themselves politically alive. The news and videos they share do nothing but confuse the public.
Sikkim is not in danger. It is the politicians who are in danger, the business of politicians that is in danger.
Leaders should not undermine the public and indulge in an “all-round loot” of the state to make it bankrupt. When the time for election comes around, they should not manufacture fake news just to win. I strongly believe that people will reject such fake news headlines and fake social media sooner or later.
Be in position or opposition, the leaders should work on the promises made in the election manifesto. They should support progressive legislation, program and policy which is brought out by the government and support government to deliver it.
It will be more effective and better if we focus on the change people want to see rather than merely reacting with fake IDs, fake information and fake news.
We need to work together: the government, opposition, administration, law enforcement agency, media companies, educational organizations and civil society can come together to help curb the spread of misinformation and fake news.
I hope we will definitely understand it and do progress in limiting the spread of fake news and work towards building a more ethical community on social media.
By Deepak Adhikari, Teacher and a Social Worker, Tumin Barang.
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