While the digital world is in full bloom in the world, it is also the most infamous source of fake news or misinformation casting its dark web on netizens. In this era of post truth, it is essential to wait, think and then share any piece of information that is not authenticated by any source but just lands up randomly on devices. In order to do so the big gest challenge is how to find out whether the shared information is fake news or not. Inspired by political ideology, there are many websites which are deceiving you in the guise of a news organization. There are many such websites in India which are named in such a way that it seems they are a news organization. The problem is that even after their theft is caught, the cleaning done is not able to follow the lie which has gone too far. In this way, the fake news is affecting the entire democratic process.
Few years back, The Times of India published a report about the lies being spread related to Nehru. Even Nehru could not escape the system of fake news people.
Sample this: Jawahar is the name of an Arabic word, no Kashmiri Brahmin can keep the Arabic name of his child. Nehru’s grandfather was a Muslim. Nehru was born in a brothel of Allahabad. Nehru had impregnated a Catholic nun, the church sent that nun out of India, for which Nehru remained grateful to the church for life.
Through this, communal tension is being created and the leader of a party is constantly being maligned. Information is first sent in the form of news. After spreading for several months, the same information is made into a joke and sent again, so that you keep seeing it again and again. What was the real name of Jawaharlal Nehru and where did he come from? Until you research the truth, false information had travelled far and wide.
Ask yourself: Will Nehru fightback?
First of all, ask yourself this question whether you have ever seen such fake information related to Nehru on WhatsApp or Internet. At this time when India is being ruled by Narendra Modi, then how could anyone be interested in the genealogy of the first Prime Minister or describing him as a Mughal. An entire political system was engaged in spreading such things about Nehru.
It was going on for more than a year, but when the paper checked these facts, it reached some people because till then altnews.in fighting the gang of fake news had not come. Many types of videos have been made on YouTube also about Nehru in which fake facts were used. There was also a mention of a video titled Hindustan’s most idle man, which was seen by 40 lakh people. The aim was to keep destroying Nehru’s credibility.
Nehru is constantly being maligned. Nehru is not in the world. Therefore, there is no possibility of him becoming the Prime Minister’s probable ever, then why is a political system defaming Nehru. Such misinformation about Nehru was presented in the form of news so that millions of people could see and hate towards Nehru continued to spread. Most of this was fake news. The motive was to convert Nwindowsehru from Kashmiri Brahmin to Muslim. It is told in a video that Nehru died of AIDS. Nehru was shown debauchery by putting up photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy and Mrinalini Sarabhai. Photoshop was used. Information about Nehru and his father Motilal Nehru was changed in Wikipedia. The Times of India quoted Pranesh Prakash of the Center for Internet and Society as saying that this change was made from the government’s IP address.
Holocaust or bad parenting?
Another example apt in for understanding how propaganda works is when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone to the Holocaust Memorial during his visit to Israel. During that time a series of posts and videos spread claiming that Holocaust just didn’t happen. In an article written in the Guardian newspaper, it was brought to notice that when searched ‘Did the Holocaust really happen?’ in Google, results showed many links mentioning that the Holocaust did not happen and the search results lead to a neo-Nazi website stormfront.org which explains top reasons as to why the Holocaust did not happen. Many such videos were posted on YouTube as well. Whereas in books and historical documents it is recorded that Hitler had killed six million people. After the article, Google made improvements in the search results, but imagine how much such historical evidence on the Internet was changed by then.
Just like governments change history books. You must think whether this issue is important or not for you and your next generation. Are you a sensible parent who wants to happily pass on the legacy of Fake News and Fake History to their children? Maybe not. You are reading the fake history about WhatsApp Nehru and the Holocaust, when your child also comes with the same fake information, then you may say that how intelligent he has become. What I know, he also knows. Lakhs of people are sharing this kind of fake history, fake news.
Not Real News mission
One of the premier news agency, Associated Press has acknowledged that it also had some news that was not news. That’s why AP has started a new news feature called Not Real News. Under this, such fake news will be exposed which went viral on Twitter or other platforms. Yet this work is like cleaning a big lake with a sieve. Fake news is a broad category. It has many sub-branches. There is a branch of fake pictures. From the tweets of many leaders to the reports of the government, fake pictures reach and from there you see what is spreading among people.
Fake is too good to be true
After facing widespread criticism, apps like WhatsApp have limited the reach of shares to five while also badging a shared information as ‘forwarded’, but these are just technical tools and they cannot filter true or false information. Here comes the human intent and patience to think and hold a piece of news or information before believing it as true or just forwarding it mindlessly. There is a popular notion among those warriors who burn midnight oil in debunking such fake news is that fake information is generally too good to be true. So hold your horses, scan the interesting piece of information shared on facebook, twitter or Whatsapp and apply a rational approach around it. Fake news or misinformation is not a hard nut to crack, but simply a timid imposter with a thin mask on face. Pull it off!