Lock down fake news amid the lockdown

Updated: 02 April, 2020 07:10 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

For us as a people, let us lockdown on fake news itself. If you suspect a message is not credible, do not forward or react to it at all

Representational picture
Representational picture

Just a day before April 1, a barrage of messages came onto the WhatsApp carousel, spinning madly these days.

A report in this paper warned people not to make April Fool jokes or send dire messages about Coronavirus as pranks for April 1.

The report detailed how such acts could land people in jail and listed all the possible consequences which could put the fear of God into them.

One message even said that a number of WhatsApp group administrators are now at a Dadar police station and will be arrested.

That may be stretching things a bit, and fake news in itself, but it does throw the spotlight on fake news and the problem it has created and in fact, continues to do so through the lockdown period.

The police have rightly stated that they are going to take action against messages that are designed to disturb the peace in these fraught times.

For us as a people, let us lockdown on fake news itself. If you suspect a message is not credible, do not forward or react to it at all.

Do not play games of one-upmanship on social media to get attention, which in cyber lingo translates to likes and forwards and get cheap, immature thrills at what you may have started.

It is a sad commentary on us as a people that we need to have a fact-check option, so that every little bit of information, magnified and amplified, has to be fact-checked.

Lock down fake news in the lockdown period, and continue this even when our trying times are over. Some bad habits need to be consigned in the rubbish bin of history.

Fake news should not be seen as the inevitable, unavoidable baggage we must carry in our world dominated by social media.

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First Published: 02 April, 2020 07:00 IST

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