These days, fake news has cracked open the trust that one places in a society or a community. It is inevitable to completely take out the roots of the spread of misinformation. In times of social media and internet facilities, people are easily ‘catfished’ and driven by the spread of fake news, rumour, gossips, etc. The surge of fake news is higher in case of celebrities and politicians and at the time of elections. Supporters of political parties throw misinformation about their opposition parties as bait in groups and communities to win elections and political contests.
John Wihbey, an assistant professor of Journalism and New Media at the Northeastern University, gave expert insight on how to avoid or filter out misinformation, rumour, clickbait-y sites, and thereby curbing the consumption and spread of fake news. He adhered to rectifying the communication systems as people tend to believe what they see or hear on the internet. He also said that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where cases of fake news about political parties and celebrities are seen often, should level-up their security and privacy systems. They should improvise their data science team, who study such “rumour cascades” and becoming more vigilant. Because a democracy devoid of a healthy and better communication system will only give birth to riots and protests, resulting in the disruption of peace everywhere.
Wihbey also expressed concern over the fact that misinformation can spread offline too. Because news, may it be real or fake, spreads faster within a group of friends and the chain continues. He recommended checking the truth of such news with highly credible sites such as Politifact.com and Factcheck.org. We, the public, have this power in our hands to dissipate the spread of misinformation and rebuild our trust with the press and among the individuals of society to strengthen the communication system of the nation.