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In the light of the spread of misinformation regarding COVID-19 on social media networks, analyze the apprehensions associated with the spread of fake news in the present context. Propose suitable measures to tackle it.

Topic:  Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security;

5.In the light of the spread of misinformation regarding COVID-19 on social media networks, analyze the apprehensions associated with the spread of fake news in the present context. Propose suitable measures to tackle it.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

Misinformation linked to supposed cures for COVID-19 and misleading claims have proliferated on social media networks. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

One must analyze the apprehensions associated with the spread of fake news in the present context.

Directive:

analyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what fake news is.

Body:

Explain Fake News pandemic:

  • In the light of the pandemic, the social media platforms have witnessed:
    • Misleading claims on supposed cures and posts related to ‘treatments’ that are not proven.
    • Medicine sales pitches or claims of techniques to prevent exposure and infection that are either not proven and/or filled with a lot of misleading information.
    • Conspiracy theories about the outbreak.
    • Instructions for individuals to stock up on supplies and food.
  • The misinformation about the pandemic has been deadly. False reports have appeared in numerous countries.

Discuss the concerns involved – issue of panic buying, claims can cause confusion among the public etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable measures to tackle the issue.

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