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Fake news and spread of disinformation through social media has far reaching consequences. There needs to be a structured legal regime in order to curb it and hold the guilty accountable. Examine.

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

5. Fake news and spread of disinformation through social media has far reaching consequences. There needs to be a structured legal regime in order to curb it and hold the guilty accountable. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Social media platforms have effectively supplanted traditional information networks in India. The dialectical relationship between online content, traditional media and political networks means that the messages propagated online effectively touch even those who are not yet online.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the steps need to tackle spread of fake news through social media.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by giving context regarding spread of fake news and disinformation in the country,

Body:

First, write about the consequences of fake news – Call into question the credibility of sources. Provide with false, misleading, or deceptive information used to make a decision or take action. Confirm biases and lead to lack of belief or trust in scientific findings. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the need to have a structured legal regime to tackle it – the features, changes required to existing laws etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.