In India, the problem of “fake news” is a big issue. The handlers of social media accounts sometimes spread misleading information to boost their status and followers. This trend of spreading misinformation has tainted the web’s aura, bringing in violent protests, lynchings, property destruction, and animosity among people.
What is The Influence of Fake News?
Misinformation and fake news have the capability to cause widespread misunderstanding and tension resulting in massive chaos. Fake news seems to influence us because information molds our perspective. Also, people make crucial decisions based on such information. Digital misinformation refers to fake news that is purposefully created to confuse or mislead the public.
How to Identify Fake News?
Web pages and links with misspelled words, absurd headlines, images, or captions that do not support the text are some of the aspects on which detectives focus to identify fake news. It also recommended that officials check trusted news sources to see if the information has been reported elsewhere; if the news has been reported on many sites, it is considered to be true.
Laws Governing False News
There is no particular provision of laws in India that deals with false information. However, there are sections in the Indian Penal Code that make some types of speech a crime, which may be similar to false news and may apply to social media or online content. Also, some provisions (e.g., Section 66 A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 prohibit the dissemination of information that a person knows to be false, which causes inconvenience, danger, annoyance, etc., via a computer resource or a communication device, but this provision has been upheld unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Recent Judgment on Fake News
In recent public interest litigation (Alakh Alok Srivastava versus Union of India), the Centre asked the Supreme Court to order that “no electronic/print media/web portal or social media shall print/publish or telecast anything without first ascertaining the true factual position from the separate mechanism provided by the central government.”
What are The Initiatives Taken by The Government?
The Government used internet cutoff to prevent social media misinformation from circulating. The Indian government has also issued orders and notices to Facebook-owned Whatsapp, whose services were used to promote disturbance in the country as it provides encrypted messaging facilities.
These types of issues have raised questions about national security and public order in India. The problem with unauthorized, misleading, and controversial content is the lack of ability to detect and identify the information so made public to a specific individual.
So, the quickest way to stop the flow of fake news is through good specialist reporting and the attention of youth, seniors, and society. The government should rethink its view on this because it might push out all SMPs or confuse the right to privacy in the interests of public security and states sovereignty.