People gain knowledge about the happenings around the globe through news and other sources. However, the news or information that we receive on a daily basis may or may not be accurate. The spreading of fake news is common nowadays. Fake news can be defined as a subgenre of information constructed with disregard of the facts. It not only spreads the wrong information but also undermines truth-tellers. The rate at which they spread is faster than the speed of light. Fake news can result in heavy consequences for anyone sharing or receiving it.
In the year 2016, the U.S. election was marked with malicious use of technology on social media designed to sway the voters. David Lazer, a distinguished professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University, published a study that examined how often people share fake news and what is their medium. The study found that the social media app Twitter was being used highly to spread such fake news. However, the number of users who spread the news was very low.
Fake news can affect the elections very drastically. This kind of news can provoke and give strength to the wrong person undermining the right person standing. The check on the spread of this kind of news is very vital in order to protect any nation from going in the wrong hands. There are several steps that the government can take to prevent or avoid this malicious practice. The government can make a task force before a month of the election in order to monitor social media. Algorithms can be developed to flag the news which is spread continuously which can further be analysed for the originality of the news that is flagged.
Before the government takes any steps regarding the control of the fake news, we ourselves can put a full stop to it. The news is unknowingly spread by people like us and ends up with us in an infinite loop. So if we know the originality of the news, we can report it and also resist from sharing it any further. A country is built by its citizens, so let’s be responsible and chooses correct and right things for everyone’s welfare.