We, today live in the World of Web, so closely netted that the information will find its way to you, one way or another; one medium or another. But what travels faster than information, is disinformation — “Fake news”. So, what exactly is Fake News, and how it has the power to make or break reputations, businesses or even governments.
Fake News can be defined as those stories that are false — News Stories without facts, sources, fabricated to fulfil agenda and run propagandas. It is a ‘Clickbait’ for the readers. It is a fiction you want to read and feel good about.
Journalism is in a state of flux. The digital platforms vis-a-vis print media have unleashed avant-garde journalistic practices that facilitate unique forms of communication and with more sweeping global reach than at any point in human history. And in this present fashionable manner, Fake News with protagonists in the fictional thriller, crime, suspense plot set at the background of the concurrent circumstances has found new medium — the digital medium. Social media has now become a path of proliferation and circulation of such stories to our comfort and we, without any shadow of doubt dive into the reservoir of misinformation. We dive into this reservoir voluntarily or involuntarily and we can be targeted in any form. It encompasses Phishing Scam, Chain mail craze, WhatsApp Forwards and more.
This form of News is conferred with powers to mould the mind of the victim, and control the thoughts and even compel them to give their personal information, money and more. It is a construction of belief through deceit.
So, how do we sort Fact from Fiction? Which tool will guide us through the darkness of Lies and Propaganda behind Fake News? The first and foremost approach is not to trust everything you read or see on Screen, verifying it through multiple sources. The masquerading of reality with fiction is problematic in democratic systems, and in order to sustain an open, democratic system, it is crucial that the policymakers, the government and business work together to combat the problem.