Remember the viral videos on plastic eggs, synthetic cabbage, plastic rice, acid in your cola or the plastic snack food doing the rounds of the internet?
As luck would have it ,most of these videos were fake and were not backed with validated information or research. Most such videos are made with the specific purpose to create panic among consumers and/ or affect the image of a competitor.
The Indian government (IT Ministry) has notified internet giants including Facebook and Google to pull off such fake content spreading misinformation about the food quality and safety in the country. The order follows a plea by FSSAI to the IT ministry asking for intervention to curb this menace.
The IT ministry notification ordered internet platforms to drop hoax food warnings about the food quality that might spread panic and fear and lead to distrust on the food certification institutions in India.
Social media is often used as a lethal weapon to spread fake information that triggers mass panic and confusion.
With such cases unearthed almost everyday, is seeking information and reading food and health related content online sensible at all?
“I believe that everything you see on the internet is not the complete picture and not always trustworthy,” shares Sneha Bhattacharya, a food and wellness aficionado.
“Be it any food product, fruits or vegetables, it is important to take due care into cleaning them and even before cooking and consuming.
Food related information spreads fast on the internet and hence validation from a genuine source is always important.
Additionally, one must be aware about what is being consumed and how it should be treated before it gets inside out body. Taking help from Google is advisable only when there are credible research studies and enough data to back the report,” Sneha adds.
Parveen Singh, a hotelier, share that in a world where there is stiff competition, the peers go down to any level to damage the credibility and business of their competitors.
“The videos and information can be tampered with the use of technology that is so advanced today. You will never know who released that information on the internet and it keeps harming you with every share and click.
“When it comes to the food industry, people are quick to judge and quit consuming the products as it involves their health, hence, we are the worst affected when a hoax spreads on the net.
No amount of counter informative videos, data, information can reverse the damage of a fake report and the business eventually suffers a setback. Do not trust the information you get online blindly and rely on your own experience or credible information only.” Singh adds.
“Nowadays, anyone can review products and flood the internet with all kinds of information…
You can read about the benefits of having too much water or too little water at the same place and time. It only depends on what your end goal is,” speaks Mukta Pramanik, a social media manager.
“Reviews can be bought and faked too, be it a video or a piece of written content. It is a PR and marketing strategy. People pay influencers with millions of followers to say good things about them or bitch about their fellow contenders.
Too much information without the use of common sense coupled with blind trust could spell doom for a business or a brand.
It is hence always best to trust your instinct and believe in health and wellness related information only when it comes from a credible institution.
Going on a diet by just looking at someone else’s results can result in self- destruction too. Rumours are exciting but not true every time,” she adds.
#All views expressed are those of the individual respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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