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What mechanism do you have against fake news SC asks govt

Topics Covered: Cybersecurity related issues.

What mechanism do you have against fake news, SC asks govt.


Context:

The Supreme Court has recently asked the Centre to explain its “mechanism” against fake news and bigotry on air, and to create one if it did not already exist.

What’s the issue?

The Court said it was “disappointed” with the contents of the latest government affidavit, filed by Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare, in the Tablighi Jamaat case.

  • The case is based on petitions against the communal colour given by certain sections of the electronic media to the holding of a Tablighi Jamaat event in the National Capital during the lockdown.
  • The Jamiat petitions has sought a direction from the court to the Ministry to identify and take strict action against sections of the media that communalised the Tablighi incident.

What is Fake news?

Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers.

  • Usually, these stories are created to influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion and can often be a profitable business for online publishers.

There are three elements to fake news: Mistrust, misinformation and manipulation.

Causes for Rise in Fake News:

  1. Widespread use of Internet and Social media.
  2. Lack of Checking Authenticity.
  3. No codes of practice for Social Media.
  4. Stratified Organization of Fake News: Organized and shrewdly disseminated to a target population.

Recent efforts by the Government:

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), a think-tank under the Union Home Ministry has published guidelines to aid law enforcement agencies to identify fake news and videos.

What else is needed?

  1. The government must take the initiative to make all sections of the population aware of the realities of this information war and evolve a consensus to fight this war.
  2. Strict action against the fake news providers.
  3. Government should have independent agency to verify the data being circulated in social and other media. The agency should be tasked with presenting real facts and figures.
  4. Social media websites should be made accountable of such activities so that it becomes their responsibility to have better control over the spread of fake news.
  5. The artificial intelligence technologies, particularly machine learning and natural language processing, might be leveraged to combat the fake news problem.

Sources: the Hindu.