oppn parties Why Are Rumours Being Spread And Fake News Published?

News Snippets

  • The government decides to decriminalize more than two-thirds of penal sections in the Companies Act
  • Muslim groups tell the Supreme Court that they want the Babri Masjid to be restored
  • Muslim groups claim that while they were asked questions in court, Hindus were not questioned
  • Postpaid mobile services restored in Jammu & Kashmir from today, but still no internet
  • Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian-American currently a professor at MIT, wins the 2019 Noble prize in economics jointly with two others
  • Industrial output slumps in August as the IIP shrinks by 1.1%
  • Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch a cultural show at the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram
  • J&K administration lifts the ban on entry of tourists in the Valley, but it remains doubtful how many will visit without being able to use mobile phones and internet
  • After Sena asks members to support the BJP candidate in Kalyan, 26 party corporators and 300 members resign setting off a crisis
  • The Centre sets up a 12-member committee to suggest systemic changes in the GST structure to improve compliance and collection, prevent misuse and evasion and rationalize rates and slabs
  • In line with the RBI outlook on the Indian economy, rating firm Moody's also downgrades growth forecast from 6.8% to 5.8% this year, saying the economy is experiencing a pronounced slowdown
  • HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh says the financial system in India does not offer foolproof security for misuse of the savings of the common man
  • Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, promoters of Ranbaxy and Fortis, arrested for their role in Religare Finvest scam
  • Supreme Court says marriage can be dissolved if it has broken down irretrievably
  • DA of Central government staff hiked by 5% to 17%
Sourav Ganguly is the new president of BCCI, says conflict of interest is a big concern
oppn parties
Why Are Rumours Being Spread And Fake News Published?

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

Rumours are being spread on the social media to create a panic and a section of the digital media is also publishing fake news or spoofs that can be taken seriously by a large number of people and trigger an outrage or a backlash against any law. The government is being forced to deny such rumours or publish reports denying the 'news'.

In the first instance, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari took to his twitter handle to express regret about a section of the media publishing wrong or mischievous news. The reference was to a 'news' item by the Hindi website of news18.com that published an item saying that if you do not wear a full-sleeved shirt while driving, the traffic police can book and fine you. The minister asked the people to ignore such reports and advised the media not to treat road safety laws as a joke.

Then, in a separate incident, Finance Secretary Rajeev Kumar was forced to deny rumours that the Supreme Court had ordered the closure of nine public sector banks and the RBI had no option but to close them down. Kumar tweeted that "There are mischievous rumours on Social Media (picture below) about @RBIclosing some banks. No question of closing any #PSB, which are articles of faith. Rather Govt is strengthening PSBs with reforms and infusion of capital to better serve its customers."

Who is spreading such rumours and why is the digital media not verifying news items before publishing them? In this age of a pervasive social media, rumours have a strong multiplier effect and cause havoc in the financial world or turn the people against a law meant to protect their lives by preventing irresponsible driving. The government must identify the source of these rumours and news items and take stern action against the perpetrators. 

lead image courtesy: themarlincompany.com