Shopian, 04 July: A seminar on Fake News was conducted by Sandeep Chaudhary IPS SSP Shopian on Wednesday at District Police Headquarters. A large number of media persons and police officers attended the seminar. The SSP was of the opinion that we use words like hoax, misinformation, and untruth, but the deceptively simple Fake News describes one of the most common modern causes of disruption of peace and harmony in society. So, if we can’t stop it, what can we do about fake news when it impacts our society? The jump in circulation and prevalence of Fake News makes it absolutely critical to make people aware of the impact of Fake News. Fake News is mostly spread on social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter.
The SSP further added that the Fake News becomes much more dangerous in a volatile society. One wrong information or rumour might incite people to indulge in violence. The biggest tragedy of the fake news is that people don’t even realise that they are being exploited by someone else to serve their own interests. He was of the opinion that especially in Kashmir, Fake News about encounters and clashes are common. Jammu and Kashmir Police is fully equipped to deal with the generators of Fake News. Admins of various Whatsapp groups have been made aware of the fact that they are responsible for any Fake News spread through their groups. Legal action will be taken against them under relevant sections of law.
The young IPS officer requested the people to keep the safety and security of their families in mind while treating any Fake News as real. He suggested six rules for any common man or woman to verify the Fake News. 1)What kind of content is this – news, opinion, advertising or something else? 2)Who and what are the sources cited, and why should I believe them? 3) What’s the evidence and how was it vetted? 4) Is the main point of the piece proven by the evidence? What’s missing? 6) Is there an issue here that I want to learn more about and where could I do that? Fake News spreads like wildfire and can be detrimental to the maintenance of law and order in society. The only way to deal with Fake News is awareness among people. Media can play a vital role in countering Fake News. Because Fake News undermines the legitimacy of traditional hard working media persons also who work day and night to gather true facts and bring them to people. Police and Media can work in tandem to deal with menace of Fake News in our modern networked societies.