#StopFakeNews: Be Sure Of What You Are Forwarding

Social Media Rumours
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Pune is no exception when it comes to falling prey to fake news and social media savvy citizens are most often caught off guard and end up propagating these rumours by forwarding them en masse. 

The need for greater awareness and constant verification of the veracity of these messages has gained significant importance in the current time.

Pune365 spoke to several informed citizens on this widespread fake news network. 

A typical example is the recent incident of violence triggered by a message on social media that led to the killing of  five people in Maharashtra. Those people were suspected to be child lifters and attacked by the villagers.

These fake rumours have become like those good mornings and good night messages which people often keep forwarding, without even cross-checking the details and the source, says Ayesha Baatiliwala, Intern.

These messages are forwarded mainly to family groups and elders or middle age people. Sensible people always try to cross check the information forwarded and if found fake avoid it.

And it doesn’t end here, everyday people keep bombarding them with free medical advice which can also turn lethal at times.

It is advisable that people read it and keep it themselves if it is sumthing that is very important to be known we all watch the news and we live in the world which they live too, Ayesha adds.

Shahrukh Azad, software professional says, “It starts with forwarding the chain of messages or a with a live video, although it has help celebrities and good causes by  reaching out to people. Yet,  most of the times it has ruined many people thanks to they falling prey to false rumours.”

“Facebook and WhatsApp are the major sources of spreading fake rumours. Due to the continuous spread of this fake messages.

In fact, Facebook has recently issued a guideline which helps you recognize a fake news item:

  • Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
  • Look closely at the link. A phoney or look-alike link may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the link. You can go to the site to compare the link to established sources.
  • Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their “About” section to learn more.
  • Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.
  • Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.
  • Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense or event dates that have been altered.
  • Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.
  • Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.

 

While on WhatsApp you can always choose for encryption while sending a message. One can always recheck and look for sources if they receive any forward about a lost child or lifters, or any cruelty.

Before forwarding one should ensure that the source is authentic and reliable.

Forward message impending about earthquake, floods, heavy rainfall, and an outbreak of viruses can always be rechecked by websites such as Snopes, truth or fiction.com, urban legends, MET department, and their respective governing bodies. Azad added.

There is no common sense left among people, they’re ready to believe anything and everything, says Jyoti Kale, Journalist.

Social media is the new serial killer all over the country, The rumours of child lifters have led to several cases of mob lynching.

There should be a way out where people are prohibited from the spread of wrong content. There should be serious punishments for people who spread this fake news. Kale adds.

Bazat Kinarawala, a Baker says, “The social media in this country is really becoming a monster, which if not curbed will lead to anarchy one day.

Whatsapp and other social media have become a source for spreading rumours, hate and communalism.

And such is the impact that one lie can lead to violence, lynching, mob warfare and was some cases in the state and elsewhere.”

There huge troll armies who are constantly using social media to propagate anti-social activities and character assassinations.

Well known personalities also join in by following them.The time has come for strict followup and action.

We must wake up now to this lurking danger to our lives. he added.

Keyur Jagad, Accountant says, “Whatsapp or any social media thing has deeply penetrated into our day to day routines, be it cities, village,s kids, adults or anyone.

It definitely has a positive side which makes you aware of many things, but this has started leading to many undesirable things people.

New users and senior citizens forward everything which they come across as it has become a source of entertainment.

Many times they too understand that this message may not make sense, but they forward out of social security feelings/good heart. Often, they do not understand the unintended implications of this.

The current constant reports of child kidnapping is a classic example of this.

Karan further added that “Though it shows their concern for society or be it just an entertainment purpose, they need to read it, understand it and think about its implications before spreading, because social media’s something whose power no one can deny!

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#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them. 

 

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Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar

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