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

News Snippets

  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
  • US President Donald Trump lands in Ahmedabad, received at the airport by Prime Minister Modi
  • US President Donald Trump to land in India today
Continuing violence in Delhi takes the sheen off the visit by US President Donald Trump
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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