Social Media and Fake news Dilemma

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One cannot deny that with the mushroom growth of digital media platforms, online news sources has become a mainstream source of news update and information for masses. The proliferation of social media allowed every user to become a publisher and the process of gatekeeping finished off. With this, the problem of fake news, manipulative information, and sharing of distorted facts has reached to new heights. Since then, fake news has become a buzzword. The textbook definition of Fake News is fabricated information that mimics and masquerades as a piece of legitimate news but it lacks the news media’s editorial norms and processes that ensure accuracy and credibility of information. It is pertinent to mention that it differs, although overlaps with other information disorders like misinformation or disinformation. The determinations for creating a fake news outlet vary but it is sure that this is a global problem and requires global coordination to overcome the menace. Like the EU Disinfo Lab debunked a 15 years old Indian nexus of fake websites spreading fake news about Pakistan. The coercive use of social media platforms for spreading fake news poses serious threats to human, national and international security at one end, while more importantly, it is a peril for the democratic liberal order and order itself, on the other. It should also be taken into consideration that the news that you do not like is not a fake news as the former US President Donald Trump stamped several media outlets spreading fake news but the news lacking accurate information or showing distorted facts is a fake news. The problem is not new but it augmented during the recent coast-to-coast lockdowns imposed to curb the pandemic, leading to increased internet activity. First, we have witnessed the proliferation of fake news regarding coronavirus, its effects and remedies, and then the origin of the virus itself. The problem of fake news is spiraling into a weapon, which is being used by nation-states for creating chaos, destabilizing and fragmenting societies, manufacturing consent, or engineering a civil upheaval.

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