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

News Snippets

  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
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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