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

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
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